NATO Steps Up Private Sector Co-operation with New Alliance

The world’s largest military alliance, NATO, has announced plans for a new initiative designed to bolster co-operation with the private sector on cyber security threats.

The NATO Industry Cyber Partnership (NICP) was announced at a two-day event in Mons, Belgium, attended by 1,500 industry leaders and policy makers.

However, it was apparently ratified by the 28 member countries at the start of September during NATO’s Wales Summit.

The idea is to improve the sharing of “expertise, information and experience” related to cyber security, including information on threats and vulnerabilities, as well as enhancing NATO’s cyber defense capabilities.

It’s also hoped that the initiative will raise awareness and improve understanding among member countries of cyber risks, build “access and trust” between NATO and the private sector and even boost cyber defense education and training.

“Technological innovation and expertise from the private sector are crucial,” said Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, NATO’s assistant secretary General for emerging security challenges.

“Collaboration with industry, through the NICP, is an essential way of enhancing our cyber resilience.”

The Wales Summit had a keen focus on cyber security, in particular ratification of a new policy which states that a cyber attack on one member country can now be considered an attack on all.

“Cyber attacks can reach a threshold that threatens national and Euro-Atlantic prosperity, security, and stability. Their impact could be as harmful to modern societies as a conventional attack. We affirm therefore that cyber defence is part of NATO's core task of collective defence,” the declaration stated.

“A decision as to when a cyber-attack would lead to the invocation of Article 5 would be taken by the North Atlantic Council on a case-by-case basis.”

TK Keanini, CTO of Lancope, welcomed the new initiative.

“The bad guys have found ways to work together, why can't we? This does not mean that there will be no security incident in the future, but it does mean that NATO is in a better state of readiness,” he told Infosecurity.

“For these relationships to work, value has to flow both ways.  Hopefully all parties will be able to benefit.” 

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