28 Mar 2017

NATO to beef up spending in face of cyber security threat

NATO is to invest €3Bn over the next three years to upgrade its satellite and computer technology to deal with emerging threats.

A senior official confirmed that businesses would be able to bid on contracts for satellite communications, air and missile defences, cyber security and advanced software.

The investment will be discussed at an industry conference in Ottawa April 24-26, with plans to include a €1.7Bn investment in satellite communications to enhance support for troops and ships deployed, as well as aiding the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones.

Other orders will see €800M invested in NATO’s command-and-control systems for air defence and ballistic-missile defence; €290M for cyber security and information-technology infrastructure; and €180M for advanced software.

Before the end of the year, the alliance will seek approval for the spending from member nations and then begin the process of inviting bids. Most of the contracts will be multi-annual. The planned orders are part of NATO’s Security Investment program, which is funded by all 28-member nations.

The organisation has reported a five-fold increase in suspicious events on its networks in the past three years.

Earlier this month, UK political parties were warned of potential Russian cyber attacks by Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

In February, Russia confirmed for the first time the scale of its own cyber warfare effort, making it a priority for the military following the 2008 conflict with Georgia.

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