Against the background of rapidly developing technology, NATO is advancing its efforts to confront the wide range of cyber threats targeting the Alliance’s networks on a daily basis.
Will wars in cyberspace become more frequent than real wars in the 21st century and could they be as devastating?
Since the cyber attacks against Estonia in 2007, cyber threats have rapidly evolved in frequency and sophistication. In the summer of 2008, the war in Georgia demonstrated that cyber attacks have the potential to become a major component of conventional warfare. The development and use of destructive cyber tools that can threaten national and Euro-Atlantic security and stability represent a strategic shift that has increased the urgency for a new NATO cyber defence policy in order to strengthen the cyber defences not only of NATO Headquarters and its related structures, but across the Alliance as a whole.
With this in mind, the Strategic Concept adopted at the 2010 Lisbon Summit highlighted the need for accelerated efforts in cyber defence and tasked the North Atlantic Council to develop a new NATO policy on cyber defence and an action plan for the policy’s implementation by June 2011.