Cyber Coalition 2010 tests NATO’s joint efforts during simultaneous cyber attacks

  • Last updated: 13 Jan. 2011 14:54

From 16-18 November 2010, NATO conducted a cyber defence exercise “Cyber Coalition 2010” that tested cyber incident response, inter-agency collaboration, and the strategic decision making processes of NATO and 13 NATO member states.

Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent, more organised and more costly in the damage that they inflict. In order to address this threat, NATO is carrying out a number of initiatives in this field. One of them is Cyber Coalition

The main purpose of the exercise, which was driven from NATO facilities in Mons (Belgium), was to test the strategic decision making processes and to exercise technical cyber defence responsibilities and collaboration between of NATO and Nations. To achieve this aim, the Core Planning Team simulated different scenarios injecting cyber incidents that should be addressed by the players.

The result of this exercice was a success and the players were able not only to exercise their cyberdefense technical and operational capabilities within their organization, but also to collaborate with each other in a multinational incident management environment.

“I think it’s remarkable how the exercise has developed […] this year it has increased in scope and increased in ambition and I think that's entirely right and proper given the development of the threat […]” said General Sir John McColl, Deputy SACEUR . Lieutenant General Kurt Herrmann, Director of NCSA added: “This is a most valuable event. We are using this not only for improving the procedures but also for training all personnel in the NATO Computer Incident Capability […]” and Ambassador Iklódy, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges and the CDMA chairman, concluded: “The participants will reflect what they will observe here and come back with some good ideas on how to improve our procedures. We will use those observations when developing NATO’s Policy on Cyber Defence […]”.

Members of NATO Headquarters in Brussels,  The NATO Computer Incident Response Capability Technical Centre (NCIRC TC) in Mons, Belgium,  the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) in the Hague, the Netherlands, and the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn, Estonia, were jointly responsible for carrying out the planning, coordination and execution of the exercise.