North Atlantic Council visits NATO cyber security centre

  • 23 Jan. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Jan. 2015 15:24

Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and the 28 Permanent Representatives to the North Atlantic Council visited NATO’s cyber defence centre at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium on Friday (23 January 2015).

The visit was an opportunity for the NATO ambassadors to receive briefings and a demonstration of NATO's Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC). The Council also met with senior NATO military authorities to discuss how the Alliance can ensure that its networks remain secure in the future.

While at the NCIRC, the Deputy Secretary General and ambassadors met with the cyber experts who are responsible for safeguarding the Alliance’s networks around the clock. "The cyber defence work that is going on in this facility and around the Alliance is crucial,” said Ambassador Vershbow. “Allies agree that the cyber threat is growing in size and complexity, and that as an Alliance we must continually prepare for future cyber threats while we defend our against the hundreds of millions of cyber incidents affecting us every day."

As cyber threats become more common and potentially damaging, Allies agreed at the Wales Summit that cyber defence is now part of NATO’s core task of collective defence.

NATO is committed to improving its cyber defence, in cooperation with key partner nations and organisations, as well as industry, where much of the expertise in cyber security resides. "The ambassadors and I have a much better appreciation of the complexity of this work, and we recognise that we need to enhance our cooperation with industry to stay ahead of this evolving threat," the Deputy Secretary General said.

NATO also helps Allies to boost their own cyber defence capabilities, through information sharing, education and training, and the deployment of rapid reaction cyber defence teams when necessary.