NATO opens new centre of excellence on cyber defence

  • 14 May. 2008 - 14 May. 2008
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  • Last updated: 11 Aug. 2008 16:33

Seven NATO nations and the Allied Command Transformation signed the documents for the formal establishment of a Cooperative Cyber Defence (CCD) Centre of Excellence (COE) in Tallinn, Estonia.

The centre will conduct research and training on cyber warfare and include a staff of 30 persons, half of them specialists from the sponsoring countries, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain.

“The need for a cyber defence centre to be opened today is compelling,” said General James Mattis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, at the signing ceremony, “it will help NATO defy and successfully counter the threats in this area.”

Countering cyber crime

The agreement comes a year after a major cyber attack on Estonian public and private institutions prompted NATO to conduct a thorough assessment of its approach to cyber defence. At their meeting in October 2007 Allied Defence Ministers called for the development of a NATO cyber defence policy which was adopted early 2008.

In April, the Bucharest Summit Declaration paved the way for the establishment of the Estonian COE, emphasizing the need for NATO members to protect key information systems and develop the ability to counter a cyber attack.

Contributing to transformation

NATO-accredited COEs provide recognised subject matter expertise in support of transformation and interoperability, especially in the fields of doctrine and concept development and validation, training, education and exercises, as well as analysis and lessons learned.

They are funded nationally or multinationally and have individual relationships with NATO formalized through memoranda of understanding.

NATO has nine fully accredited COEs, the Center for Analysis & Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations (CASPOA), the Civil - Military Cooperation (CIMIC) COE,  the Cold Weather Operations (CWO) COE, the combined Joint Operations from the Sea (CJOS) COE, the Command & Control (C2) COE, the Joint Air Power Competence Center (JAPCC) COE, the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation, & Nuclear Defence (JCBRN Defence) COE and the Naval Mine Warfare (EGUERMIN) COE.