NATO cyber coordinators hold first-ever meeting amid Russia’s invasion

Senior cyber coordinators from NATO held their first-ever meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the cyber threat landscape following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The coordinators also reviewed the progress they’ve made in cyber defense, including efforts to build resilience against cyber threats.

“Today’s North Atlantic Council meeting of senior cyber coordinators was an important step along the path to NATO’s Summit in Madrid,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană.

“There is an urgent need to step up our approach to cyber defence, and this collective effort also means engaging with our partners, including in the private sector,” he added. 

NATO said in a blog post that its allies have raised concerns that cyber threats are becoming more frequent and increasingly complex, destructive and coercive.

The meeting follows the launch of the International Conference on Cyber Diplomacy, which was hosted in Bucharest, Romania, by the National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics.

Geoană, who spoke at the conference, praised Romania for its contribution to the alliance and the way it has been “diligently implementing the NATO cyber defence pledge.”

The deputy secretary general also mentioned that NATO has helped Ukraine strengthen its resilience to cyberattacks. Since the invasion, Ukraine has been a testing ground for Russian cyberattacks, which have targeted the country’s critical infrastructure and key institutions.

The meeting also follows Finland and Sweden’s bid to join NATO. The two Nordic countries expressed interest in joining the 30-nation military organization following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that the decision to join NATO was not a jab at Russia but rather what is best for her country’s security.

Andersson added that she expects possible cyber retaliation from Russia as Sweden applies for NATO membership. 

Russia, which sees the expansion of the alliance as a direct threat, has vowed to take “retaliatory steps.”

Experts have predicted that Russia will likely launch unsophisticated types of cyberattacks, including website defacement and distributed denial-of-service attacks, as a form of protest against the expansion.

Tags cyber attacks Magdalena Andersson Mircea Geoana NATO Russia-Ukraine war

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