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29 July 2016

New INCYDER Analysis: NATO Should Develop Core Cyber Defence Capabilities

A new INCYDER analysis by Tomáš Minárik focuses on NATO recognizing cyberspace as a domain of operations at the recent Warsaw Summit and the implications of the decision.

„Equating cyberspace with the other domains when talking about defence should mean that there is no longer a fundamental difference between them. The core assets of NATO in the other domains are capabilities with which it can defend itself, so now NATO should be prepared to develop these in cyberspace as well,” the INCYDER analysis reads.

The piece focuses on the summit’s recognition of cyberspace as a domain of operations, which may and should lead to more practical results in the future, such as recognising the Allies’ cyber capabilities in operational planning. It concludes that NATO is still treading carefully around open acceptance of offensive cyber operations as part of collective defence, despite a growing number of expert opinions that it need not be so fussy.

Apart from introducing cyberspace as a domain of operations, the Warsaw Summit saw a clear prioritisation of cyber defence, which was further linked to the protection from hybrid threats. NATO-EU cooperation in cyber security and defence was also highlighted. In all of these topics, there is visible progress at the highest level, and more practical results are to be expected in the upcoming years.

For more details, view the full INCYDER analysis here.

INCYDER, an initiative of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, is an interactive research tool focusing on the legal and policy documents adopted by international organisations active in cyber security. The collection of documents is periodically updated and supported by a comprehensive system of tags that enable filtering the content by specific sub-domains. INCYDER also features descriptions and news briefs about these selected organisations.