April 29, 2013
Credit: NCIRC NATO
Cybersecurity initiatives are sufficiently challenging to the defense strategists of nations. When it comes to mounting and conducting cyberdefense programs within coalitions, however, the problems become more pronounced.
That is the assessment of the situation NATO faces in conducting effective cross-alliance cyberdefense operations, as outlined by one of the organization's key strategists at a conference here earlier this year.
In his presentation at Defense IQ's cyber defense and network security event, Jamie Shea, deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges at NATO headquarters in Brussels, outlined a number of issues that require solutions from the alliance. These include:
•Setting a threshold that triggers a response to cyberattack.
•The point at which, under NATO's constitution, a cyberattack on one member is considered an attack on the alliance, thus triggering the likelihood of a collective response.
•Proportionality—whether and how cyberattacks could spark kinetic and other responses.
•Problems of classification and politics over when and how alliance members should share information about attacks on their national networks.