As if right on time, the cyber coordinators of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held an inaugural meeting in which they discussed the global cyber landscape amid the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, Russian aggression, and Sweden and Finland’s request for membership.
Attendees included ambassadors, academia, and experts from the international cyber and defense community to promote excellence in research and innovation in Romania, where the meeting took place, and integrate it regionally and internationally in cyber research. The meeting served as a precursor to the NATO Summit -- scheduled for June in Spain.
It must have been a lot to take in but the cyber coordinators, convening at the International Conference on Cyber Diplomacy hosted by the National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics - ICI Bucharest, in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, doubtless nodded in affirmation as NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană, in opening opening remarks repeated the importance of cyber defense and resilience at all levels.
“Today’s North Atlantic Council meeting of senior cyber coordinators was an important step along the path to NATO’s Summit in Madrid,” said Geoană. “There is an urgent need to step up our approach to cyber defense, and this collective effort also means engaging with our partners, including in the private sector,” he added. “As our daily dependence on digital assets increases, so does our vulnerability to cyber-attacks and incidents”, he said, most recently demonstrated by helping Ukraine’s resilience to cyber-attacks. “NATO has helped enhance Ukraine’s resilience to cyber-attacks as part of our way to support their defense and security sector reform."
NATO allies are concerned that cyber threats to the security of the Alliance are “complex, destructive, coercive, and becoming ever more frequent.” NATO’s position is that it is a “strong platform to share information, to exchange national approaches and responses, as well as to consider possible collective responses.
At the Madrid Summit, allies will take further decisions to bolster the Alliance’s deterrence and defense. Cyber defense plays a key role and this is expected to be reflected in NATO’s next Strategic Concept, officials said.
For MSSPs, the concept of working with NATO may seem foreign or beyond reach. But it's a safe bet that NATO-related guidance and alerts will flow through the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) -- which frequently issues cyber updates specifically designed for MSPs & IT service providers.