Military aspects of cyber security in focus of the joint meeting of the Forum for Security Co-operation and the Permanent Council in Vienna
VIENNA, 23 March 2017 – The importance of joint efforts at the global level to reduce the risks of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies was debated at the joint session of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), currently under Romania’s Chairmanship, and the Permanent Council held yesterday in Vienna.
Addressing the meeting, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Sorin Ducaru noted that while an open and interconnected cyberspace offers unprecedented opportunities for economic development and societal transformation, it also “makes us vulnerable, with cyber threats growing both in numbers and in sophistication.”
Ducaru stressed the importance of partnerships among states, international organizations, industry and academia in dealing with the challenges of cyber security: “None of us alone can be better informed, smarter or better protected than all of us acting together.”
Ducaru said that cyber security is a top priority for NATO and stressed that his organization seeks to prevent conflicts and “not to engage in them”. Referring to NATO’s approach to cyber defence, he said that the organization and its allies are “taking measures to adapt continuously to deal with the threats we face now”.
Noting that NATO is not a norm-setting organization, Ducaru said that it supports the work undertaken in other international fora. He welcomed the OSCE’s recent adoption of confidence-building measures to reduce the risks of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies.
Rear Admiral Santiago Barber Lopez, Director of Communications and information Systems at the European Union Military Staff said that enhancing cyber security capabilities requires not only protection and reaction, but also anticipation and preparation. He added that the task of ensuring cyber security is “much broader than physically securing networks” and noted the importance of raising staff’s awareness of cyber security.
Barber Lopez highlighted the need for close co-operation between military and their civilian counterparts to develop cyber resilience. “Today's threats do not differentiate whether they are military or civilian. Cyber resilience measures have to be co-ordinated and implemented in close co-operation between military and civilian counterparts,” he said.
The discussion on military aspects of cyber security was part of the Security Dialogue of the Forum for Security Co-operation.