NATO recognises need to defend cyberspace

NATO has agreed to recognise cyberspace as an operational domain alongside air, sea and land.

The announcement was made following a meeting of NATO’s defence ministers earlier this week

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that this recognition means NATO will coordinate and organise its efforts to protect against cyber attacks in a better and more efficient way.

“This is about developing our capabilities and ability to partly protect NATO cyber networks but also to help and assist nations in defending their cyber networks, and since it’s very hard to imagine a military conflict today without a cyber dimension, this is important, related to almost all possible conflicts we can foresee in the future,” he said.

“We need a better framework to manage resources, skills and capabilities, and better coordination of our decisions. We have made the decision now to make cyber a domain, as we have land, sea and air. Then there is a lot of work that has to be done on the details, on how to follow up, but today we have made the important decision to create a separate independent domain for cyber because we understand and see that cyber is such a demanding area and poses so many challenges to the alliance.”

In response to the news, Ryan Wilk, VP at NuData Security, commented: “It is somewhat hard to believe that each time a foreign countries military jet comes near our airspace we scramble a $100m (£68m) fighter jet to ensure our safety, but at the same time foreign governments are breaching our most secure government instructions cyber defences with impunity.

“It is time our leaders do more to ensure our digital infrastructure be given the same level of scrutiny as the physical. Simple things like doing more to ensure user authentication goes beyond simple username/password verification to better validate the human accessing the sensitive system.”

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