NATO’s Sense of Purpose on Cybersecurity Impresses Lynn

BRUSSELS, Bel­gium, Sept. 15, 2010 — Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III said today he is encour­aged by the sense of pur­pose on cyber­se­cu­ri­ty he has found dur­ing his vis­it to NATO and the Supreme Head­quar­ters Allied Pow­ers Europe.

Lynn told reporters at a media round­table here that he is encour­aged by the response he’s received from NATO mem­bers to his pre­sen­ta­tion on cyber­se­cu­ri­ty yes­ter­day before the alliance’s North Atlantic Coun­cil. The coun­cil is made up of the ambas­sadors to NATO from the 28 mem­ber nations. 

“It seemed to me to be broad­ly held that NATO needs to make a strong com­mit­ment in this area,” he said, “and I was impressed with that sense of purpose.” 

Lynn stressed the need for col­lec­tive defense in cyber­space and said that NATO is the per­fect plat­form to com­bat this threat. He spoke to the coun­cil as the body is work­ing on the strate­gic con­cept that lead­ers will dis­cuss at a Novem­ber sum­mit in Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal, where alliance heads of state will decide NATO’s key priorities. 

The alliance under­stands the need for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, Lynn said, and already is mov­ing in that direc­tion. The NATO Cyber Inci­dent Response Cen­ter has stood up, he not­ed, and there are plans to bring it to full oper­a­tional capability. 

“They are in dis­cus­sions on what the right oper­a­tional con­cepts should be in regard to the broad­er NATO reform effort,” he said, “but I am quite con­fi­dent that we will see the right orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­ture to address cyber issues post-summit.” 

Com­ing out of the sum­mit, Lynn said, he would like to see a high-lev­el com­mit­ment to cyber­se­cu­ri­ty as a pri­or­i­ty for the alliance. He would also like to see progress in the orga­ni­za­tion con­structs that address this threat, he added, and he would like to see growth in capabilities. 

The deputy sec­re­tary addressed the nature of what col­lec­tive defense means in the cyber arena. 

“The con­cept of col­lec­tive defense does­n’t mean you open your net­works to every oth­er user,” he said. But it does mean that mem­bers share infor­ma­tion about attacks and remedies. 

“We mon­i­tor activ­i­ties on our net­works, and we see threats of dif­fer­ent types,” he said. “In a col­lec­tive defense envi­ron­ment, you share what you see of those threats with your allies. If you devel­op patch­es or respons­es, you share that as well. It does­n’t have to mean that your net­works are all linked together.” 

The alliance depends on infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and net­works, as all West­ern mil­i­taries do. NATO has joint net­works that all allies share, Lynn not­ed, and that is anoth­er argu­ment for good cybersecurity. 

“What you have to wor­ry about is that the infor­ma­tion on the joint net­work is sub­ject to the low­est lev­el of secu­ri­ty of any of its com­po­nents,” he said. “So you are try­ing to raise every­body up, but it’s more to pro­tect the infor­ma­tion that is shared joint­ly, and the col­lec­tive defense con­cept is more shar­ing the threats so you are able to antic­i­pate them more.” 

The alliance is also look­ing at reform­ing its inter­nal orga­ni­za­tions, the deputy sec­re­tary said, adding that he believes cyber­se­cu­ri­ty will gain in promi­nence as the process moves forward. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →