ATA 2017 Council Meeting
Presidents and Directors in representation of all ATA Member, Associate and Observer associations gathered at ATA HQ to take decisions to further the development of the Association in June 2017.
This year’s Council Meeting was held alongside an International Conference at the European Parliament on the topic of ‘NATO, EU & Industry: Cooperation on Cyber Security-A transatlantic Exchange of Best Practices’
The topics discussed included:
Cyber Security & Cyber Defence
Cybersecurity incidents on critical networks and infrastructures has become a key strategic challenge both for NATO and EU Members. States and non-state actors are increasingly using these threats to achieve their diplomatic and military objectives. Recently, a series of cyber-attacks were launched against several State systems, which have included intelligence gathering operations on critical infrastructures such as the financial sector, hospitals and power plants.
NATO acknowledged that the impact of cyber-attacks represents a real challenge for our societies and made clear that cyber defense is part of the Alliance’s core task of collective defense. As Cyber threats do not respect borders, no country is invulnerable. To ensure that NATO and EU can effectively protect its citizens and territory against any threats, both organizations have recognized that cybersecurity is a key challenge to their core objectives, and they have adopted increasingly ambitious strategies. At the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the Cyber Defence Pledge was adopted to strengthen our cyber defenses and to establish new organizations and promulgated legislation to address these threats jointly with the EU.
NATO EU Cooperation in Cyber Defence
On February 2017, the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization signed an agreement aimed at strengthening their cooperation and ability to defend Allies from hybrid attacks, in particular, it focuses on the cyber dimension. The Technical Arrangement on Cyber Defence aims to facilitate technical information sharing between NCIRC and CERT-EU to improve cyber incident prevention, detection and response in both organisations and it represents a concrete example of NATO and the EU working together to enhance shared security. The signing of this agreement is an important milestone to enhance NATO and EU Cooperation as one of the objectives of the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw and the Global Strategy for European Foreign and Security Policy.
The Role of the Private Sector
In May 2017, a massive cyber attack crippled many Spanish businesses and 16 regional health authorities in Britain’s NHS while simultaneously travelling beyond Europe. Analysis shows that over 45,000 attacks in more than 70 countries took place, all using “ransomware”, an attack that locks computer users out of their machines unless they pay a bribe. The security and stability of the net, as well as the integrity of data flows, is of growing importance to our economies and our societies, thus the effective implementation of external cyber policies depends on cooperation across the public-private sector.
Both the Alliance, through the Industry Cyber Partnership, highlighted during the Warsaw Summit, and the European Union, with the public-private network and information security NIS Platform and the Cybersecurity Strategy of the EU, adopted specific actions to support the public-private partnership to provide expertise of strategic importance for both organizations.