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President Ilves: NATO needs an extensive cyber shield to protect itself and its allies


The President, Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, met with the Cyber Force Commander of the United States of America, General Keith B. Alexander, who is also the Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

“Estonia would like to see NATO adopting a more ambitious role in organising cyber defence,” President Ilves assured.

According to the President, the protection of networks that are important for NATO and its allies and primary civilian information infrastructures is the most relevant.

“We have no other choice today – NATO must enhance the importance of cyber defence in joint activities, operative planning, the drafting of emergency plans and management level, including, for example, the organisation of cyber exercise,” said the Estonian Head of State.

President Ilves described NATO only focusing on defence systems of the alliance and its allies for the purposes of cyber defence as “short-sighted”.

“Let us not forget that cyber attacks may also serve a strategic purpose and an attack against a bank or civil infrastructure is also a part of a co-ordinated attack against a country,” said the Estonian Head of State. “Therefore, the members of NATO need a cyber shield for the alliance, which would reach beyond the issues linked to the defence sphere.”

President Ilves expressed his pleasure with the fact that Estonia is considerably improving its cyber space monitoring and analysing capacities, and he added that co-operation with the United States of America is highly important in this regard. The USA has joined the work done by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Co-operative Cyber Defence in Tallinn.


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