University of Cambridge

CSaP

The Centre for Science and Policy

Cyber Defence and NATO workshop


Cyber defence is much in the news, but the headlines belie the difficulty of the underlying issues. Many of its complexities stem from the fact that the landscape in which cyber warfare is waged is generated by those participating in it. In classical warfare, participants share the same geography. Not in cyberspace; the warfare terrain is a creation of each combatant.

To discuss this and related issues, CSaP hosted a workshop with NATO Science for Peace on 10 and 11 October in Wolfson College, Cambridge. It was the first event of a new CSaP Cyber Defence Project, and brought together experts from the private sector, defence, law and policy making to discuss the realities of cyber warfare.

Participants included CSaP Cyber Defence convenors, Professor Jon Crowcroft and Dr Rex Hughes, Cambridge academics, and representatives from NATO; NATO-EUCOM Intelligence Fusion Centre; the Joint Analysis Center, US European Command; US Army War College; Microsoft; the US National Academies; and Ministry of Defence among others.

For NATO, the path towards securing collective defence in cyberspace is fraught with many tactical, operational, and strategic challenges. Although it has evolved considerably over time, NATO remains an international military alliance to defend sovereign territory. Cyberspace, however, is a realm that largely ignores political and geographical boundaries.

Developing the ‘ways and means’ to defend NATO interests in cyberspace is likely to be one of its most significant strategic challenges for decades to come.

NATO SPS