Permanent Representatives to the North Atlantic Council visited NATO’s cyber defence centre in Mons, Belgium on Friday.
The NATO ambassadors and Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow received briefings and a demonstration of NATO's Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC). The Council also met with senior NATO military authorities to discuss how the Alliance can ensure that its networks remain secure in the future.
"The cyber defence work that is going on in this facility and around the Alliance is crucial,” said Ambassador Vershbow. “Allies agree that the cyber threat is growing in size and complexity, and that as an Alliance we must continually prepare for future cyber threats while we defend our against the hundreds of millions of cyber incidents affecting us every day."
As cyber threats become more common and potentially damaging, Allies agreed at the Wales Summit that cyber defence is now part of NATO’s core task of collective defence.
NATO is committed to improving its cyber defence, in cooperation with key partner nations and organisations, as well as industry, where much of the expertise in cyber security resides. "The ambassadors and I have a much better appreciation of the complexity of this work, and we recognise that we need to enhance our cooperation with industry to stay ahead of this evolving threat," the Deputy Secretary General said.
NATO also helps Allies to boost their own cyber defence capabilities, through information sharing, education and training, and the deployment of rapid reaction cyber defence teams when necessary.