Cyber security threats concern for democracy, says NATO

Cyber security threats concern for democracy, says NATO

Cyber security attacks are increasing and are threatening to destabilise societies and organisations if we do not take action to defend ourselves, according to NATO.

Dr Jamie Shea, deputy assistant secretary general of Emerging Security Challenges at NATO, speaking at #teissLondon2016, he says “while we concentrate on new challenges, the old simple stuff still bothers us.”

For example, Dr Shea explained people are still failing for the most common types of attacks phishing, with one out of 10 phishing attacks being successful.

Then he says “there has also been new escalation in the severity of attack” with an “increasing threat to critical infrastructure” as well as a rise in reconnaissance attacks.

Another big concern for 2016 has been the possible use of cyber warfare in election campaigns.

He says: “Now we are worrying about democracy. In the upcoming elections in Netherlands they are not bothering with electronic counting due to hacking fears.”

According to Dr Shea cyber-attacks can destabilise organisations and be a threat to society.

“Every future conflict will have a cyber dimension,” he says. “Cyber security is the key for our success on land, at sea and in space.”

At NATO the goal is to develop a culture where our weaker allies can get to a certain standard where they can protect themselves, if they can’t do it themselves to give them help to.

NATO has set up an innovation lab where cyber defence attacks can be replicated and industry products tested.

According to Dr Shea nobody knows what a cyber weapon is going to do, if it is going to bring down the government or organisation.

An area which he thinks will become increasingly vulnerable to attacks is the Internet of Things (IoT). By networks being able to connect to each other through the IoT the number of attack surfaces has quadrupled.

Photo copyright vetkit under licence from

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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