In the event of a serious cyber attack, NATO would invoke the collective defence Article 5 if required.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, published in Prospect’s new cyber resilience supplement, said:
“Cyberthreats to the security of our alliance are becoming more frequent, more complex and more destructive. They vary from low-level attempts to technologically sophisticated attacks. They come from state and non-state actors, from close to home and the other side of the world. Malicious actors can attack anything automated and networked, including the mobile phones in our pockets or the computers controlling our critical systems and infrastructure. Attacks can affect every one of us. In the United Kingdom, the 2017 WannaCry virus crippled computers in hospitals across the country, cancelling thousands of scheduled operations and costing the National Health Service millions of pounds.
Even Nato is not immune to cyberattacks and we register suspicious activity against our systems every day.To keep us all safe, as it has been doing for 70 years, Nato is adapting to this new reality. For Nato, a serious cyberattack could trigger Article 5 of our founding treaty. This is our collective defence commitment where an attack against one ally is treated as an attack against all. We have designated cyberspace a domain in which Nato will operate and defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land, and at sea. This means we will deter and defend against any aggression towards allies, whether it takes place in the physical world or the virtual one.”
Stoltenberg also said:
“As we look ahead, we must continue to build a strong and diverse workforce of future cyber defenders. The UK has already started doing this with “CyberFirst,” a programme aimed at supporting and preparing undergraduates for a career in cybersecurity. We must be smart about recruiting, training and retaining highly skilled cyber experts, and make sure their skills are kept sharp through regular exercises, as we do, for instance, through our Cyber Coalition exercises.
Cyberspace is the new battleground and making Nato cyber ready—well-resourced, well-trained, and well-equipped—is a top priority as we look towards the Nato summit in London in December and beyond.”
The full article by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg features in Prospect’s new cyber resilience supplement.