The management of cyberspace is on the agenda at an international conference in London today.
Ministers, industry leaders and internet activists are discussing how to tackle security threats without stifling business or freedom of speech.
NATO has stepped up its cyber defences, prompted by a string of major cyber attacks on public and private institutions in Estonia, four years ago.
“Cyber attacks are increasing every day against NATO systems, against important systems in our member states,” said Jamie Shea, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. “NATO, therefore, has to go beyond purely providing protection to its own systems, which was a little bit where we were before the attacks in 2007 against Estonia, to being able to offer cyber services, cyber protection to our member states.”
As NATO implements its cyber defence action plan, the stakes are high for governments too. On the eve of the conference, the head of Britain’s communications spy agency said UK government and industry computer systems were facing a ‘disturbing’ number of cyber attacks, including a serious assault on the Foreign Office’s network.