NATO establishes program to coordinate rapid response to cyberattacks

EuroActiv Politico News

NATO member countries on Wednesday agreed in Madrid to create a new program to quickly respond to cyberattacks.

Russian threat: The “virtual rapid response cyber capability” comes after months of Russian cyberattacks in Ukraine as part of the war and amid concerns that Moscow may target the United States and other NATO countries in retaliation for assistance to Ukraine.

The program is voluntary. According to a fact sheet put out by the White House on Wednesday, the U.S. will offer “robust national capabilities” to support this program.

There’s more: NATO also announced a separate package of cyber assistance to Ukraine. Neither NATO nor the White House immediately responded to questions about the scope of the new programs.

New strategy: In a newstrategy document,NATO reaffirmed a 2021 commitment that a cyberattack could (but would not automatically) trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which would make it an attack against the alliance as a whole. It also pledged to work with the private sector to counter threats, formally recognized threats in cyberspace posed by Russia and China, and promised to update NATO’s command structure to reflect new cyber threats.

More research funds: Officials speaking prior to the strategy’s release on the condition that they not be identified told POLITICO that NATO’s new strategy will include over $1 billion to fund research into emerging technologies including quantum computing and artificial intelligence.