EU-NATO cyber cooperation a necessity

Speed and proximity make cyberspace different from all other domains, leaving governments and industries no other option but to join forces.

Speaking at Microsoft’s EU Cybersecurity and Digital Crimes Forum, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Gabor Iklody said: “No one can build fences high enough to be better protected against cyber threats,” adding that “we need to tear down all the thick walls between state and non state actors, Homeland Security and Defence, as separate minds do not seem to work effectively”.

As a vital part of the solution, Iklody emphasised the need for EU and NATO to cooperate on cyber defence, outlining four areas for potential cooperation: training and education, information exchange, protecting national communications and information systems, and harmonising crisis management procedures.

“If there is a major incident, we should be ready to harmonise our response,” Iklody said, adding that NATO already has a mandate to protect national communications and information systems, “but we’re not fully comfortable without getting the EU onboard.”

At EU level, the main problem of addressing the cyber-security remains a lack of harmonisation among member states in dealing with these issues.

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