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Lynn arrives in Brussels for Cybersecurity Talks
Deputy Defense Secretary
William J. Lynn III is meeting with NATO and European Union officials
here to strengthen cyberdefense capabilities.
This is Lynn’s second visit to the alliance in four months
to discuss cybersecurity.
“It’s an opportunity for Deputy Secretary Lynn to
meet and discuss with NATO and EU leaders ways to strengthen
cybersecurity and to follow through on the Lisbon Summit declaration
to develop and implement a NATO cyber policy and implementation
plan with real capabilities,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan
NATO leaders recognize that cyber threats are increasingly dangerous
and during the Lisbon Summit dedicated the alliance to work to
develop capabilities to address the threats. Political and military
leaders and their cybersecurity experts are here to track the
progress made since the summit in November.
“It’s an opportunity to bring cyber experts to really
begin putting the implementation aspects behind the plan,” a
senior defense official said on background.
One goal is to secure the alliance networks and to have all
nations contribute to that effort, the official said. A primary
focus for Lynn this week is “to look at bringing these
nations together under this NATO common vision and having them
leverage each others’ expertise and experiences and drawing
a common vision based on the threat to better secure NATO’s
networks,” the official said.
Lynn will meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen,
but will work most closely with Ambassador Gábor Iklódy
of Hungary, the alliance’s assistant secretary general
for emerging security challenges.
Lisbon has changed the environment in NATO. “There is
an excitement, and enthusiasm now coming off of Lisbon to do
more,” the official said.
NATO is not starting from ground zero. The alliance had concepts,
an incident response capability, ways to warn each other, and
to begin to get around the idea of situational awareness. But
these were nascent.
“They were incomplete,” the official said. “They
did not cover as much of the networks as we need. We do not cover
100 percent of the networks yet. At the same time, the desire
resulted in a plan that was pushed four to five years out.”
Alliance leaders at Lisbon advanced that schedule. “They
are accelerating the timeline and providing complete coverage
across military networks with a bridge to civilian networks over
the course of the next three years,” the official said.
Lynn also is expected to meet with European Union cybersecurity
officials to see how the cybersecurity efforts on NATO, the EU
and the United States can complement each other.
Lynn also will look at ways to engender a relationship with
the private sector, the official said. “This is critical
in terms of securing networks and, indeed, the entire communications
infrastructure,” the official said. “Some 80 to 90
percent of what we are doing rides on the private infrastructure.”
The cyber threat continues to grow and morph. “That is
a constant drumbeat reminder that NATO must come together to
build not only a plan, but a way to implement it,” the
official said. “The challenge, of course, will be in today’s
environment, with the resource constraints we have, to get each
to leverage capabilities to move quickly to counter this threat.”
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