NATO to form quick-reaction cyber defense teams

The alliance responded to more than 2,500 cyber attacks in 2012

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense ministers held their first-ever meeting on cyber issues this week, and have agreed to form quick-reaction cyber defense teams to protect NATO networks, as well as the networks of member states that come under attack.

In 2012, the NATO alliance documented more than 2,500 “significant cases” of cyber attack, according to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was quoted in an article published by the American Forces Press Service.

“Despite the increasing sophistication of these attacks, our security has not been compromised,” said Rasmussen in the article, adding that the defense ministers agreed to approach cyber defense as an alliance.

“We are all closely connected,” he was quoted as saying. “So an attack on one ally, if not dealt with quickly and effectively, can affect us all. Cyber defense is only as effective as the weakest link in the chain. By working together, we strengthen the chain.”

NATO will begin standing up their cyber quick-reaction teams now, and they should be operational by October, Rasmussen said. The next NATO defense ministerial conference will also be in October, and he said that cyber issues would be on the docket once again for discussion.

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