A NATO Cyber Alliance

By Kevin Coleman -- Defense Tech Cyberwarfare correspondent

Last week U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn IIIdiscussed the five-pillar strategy with NATO leaders in Europe in efforts to promote joint cyber security initiatives. 

According to a press services report, Lynn held the discussion with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussenbefore delivering a briefing to the alliance's North Atlantic Council on U.S. cyber initiatives. This came on the heels of NATO’s Military Committee discussion of their updated strategy.

The updated strategy addresses the new threats NATO faces -- cyber attacks, missiles and terrorism. While the topic of cyber conflict was discussed in detail, no specific outcomes resulted nor were they expected. NATO has already stood-up their Cyber Incident Response Center and there are plans to bring it to full operational capability shortly.

This is all taking place as the U.S. Department of Defense has expressed concern over China's rapidly evolving cyber warfare capabilities. Add that concern to the rare comment by the head of British MI5 about the threat of terrorism and cyber terrorism and a concerning mental picture comes into focus. 

Finally, Harry Raduege, former director at the Pentagon agency responsible for the computer network and currently the chairman of the Deloitte Centre for Cyber Innovation, said cyber attacks were growing in intensity and sophistication.

"We have experienced a number of attacks against the financial sector, on the power grid and against our defense capability," he said.

The warnings are out there, but the progress being made to defend against acts of cyber aggression is slow.  Many believe it will take what they call a “Cyber Pearl Harbor” before governments and their militaries step up to the critical task of defending their computers, networks and devices that make up the critical infrastructure.

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