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NATO's Role in Cyberspace

Though NATO Allies have taken steps to collaborate on cybersecurity efforts, further action must be taken to address the ever-increasing threats in cyberspace. NATO has set the goal of operating effectively in cyberspace, but unlike traditional NATO goals, cybersecurity cannot be accomplished through purely military means. Cyberattacks often occur under the threshold of armed conflict, but can still be equally as damaging, so cybersecurity must be made a priority. Given this, NATO Allies have officially recognized cyberspace as a domain of operations, and created the Cyberspace Operations Centre, which coordinates NATO’s operations in cyberspace. Allies are also developing a cyberspace operations doctrine to concretely dictate its actions in cyberspace. Additionally, NATO drafted a Cyber Defense Pledge, which encourages Allies to allocate sufficient resources to cyber defense, share findings concerning cybersecurity, and innovate in their cyber defense strategies. Specifically, since cyberattacks are often below the threshold of armed conflict, Allies must carefully impose consequences on cyber criminals while still following international law. With these methods, NATO Allies are defending themselves against cyberattacks, but they must continue improving these approaches, including the Cyberspace Operations Centre, in order to keep effectively responding to threats in cyberspace.
Laura Brent
NATO Review
Domains-Issue Area: 
Industry Focus: 
Internet & Cyberspace