Defence Ministers make progress on cyber protection

  • 04 Jun. 2013 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Jun. 2013 19:05

In their first-ever meeting dedicated to cyber defence on Tuesday (June 4), NATO Defence Ministers agreed that the Alliance’s cyber-defence capability should be fully operational by the autumn, extending protection to all the networks owned and operated by the Alliance.

Opening Remarks  Left to right: Ambassador Alexander Vershbow (NATO Deputyy Secretary General) with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Ambassador Huseyin Dirioz (Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning)

“And we agreed that we will continue our discussion at our next meeting in October on how NATO can support and assist Allies who request assistance if they come under cyber attack,” the Secretary General said.  “We will do that on the basis of a detailed report that we have tasked today. Cyber attacks do not stop at national borders. Our defences should not, either.”

Defence Ministers also discussed how to address capability shortfalls in other key areas through cooperation in multinational projects.

“Defence budgets are falling, and the cost of modern capabilities is rising”, the Secretary General said. “There is an imbalance between what we have and what we need, with significant shortfalls in some areas, such as air-to-air refueling and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”

The Secretary General added: “We must make the best use of the money we have, through better, smarter cooperation. And European countries must do more to relieve the unequal burden which is currently being carried by the United States.”

Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed the interest expressed by ministers in further multinational projects that will help fill capability gaps.

Defence Ministers also welcomed the decision to send an expert delegation to Libya to identify how NATO could best respond to the request by the Libyan Prime Minister for NATO advice on the development of the country’s national security forces. Ministers looked forward to giving careful consideration to the team’s assessment in the weeks to come.