A senior official at the Department of Defense urged the U.S.’s European allies to erect a “Cyber Shield” to protect NATO members against Internet based attacks against critical military and civilian infrastructure, according to a published report.
Speaking in Brussels at an event organized by the think tank Security and Defence Agenda, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn said that NATO allies need to build a “cyber shield” to deter attacks, just as its conventional and nuclear arsenals deter attacks from adversaries today.
Lynn’s speech reiterated points made in a recent article he penned for Foreign Affairs. In that piece, Lynn said the U.S.’s military and civilian networks were already the target of nation-states sponsored attacks. The nation, he said, should pursue a Cold War style strategy to detect and thwart attacks from foreign governments: working closely with allies and expanding the role the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor both domestic and international communications.
The U.S. government needs to identify evolving and ongoing attacks by so-called “advanced persistent threats” – a term first coined by the Air Force that some consider synonymous with “China,” Lynn argued.
Details on how such a “cyber shield” would operate weren’t provided, but Lynn said NATO leaders were likely to tackle the issue of cyber warfare at a summit of leaders in Lisbon, Portugal, in November.