NATO's preparedness for cyberwar

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Authors
Ghavam, Z'hra M.
Subjects
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO
Washington Treaty
North Atlantic Treaty
Article 5
collective defense
consensus
cyber
cyber attack
cyberwar
cybersecurity
hybrid
cyber readiness
conventional armed attack
kinetic attack
Wales Summit
Warsaw Summit
Advisors
Yost, David
Nieto-Gomez, Rodrigo
Date of Issue
2016-09
Date
Sep-16
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The advent of cyberspace has created a new, unregulated dimension of warfare, which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has striven to manage. This thesis raises the following question: To what extent is NATO cybernetically, politically, militarily, and economically prepared to respond to a major act of cyberwar against one or more of its members? The thesis evaluates NATO's level of preparedness across seven areas: cyber strategy, cyber cooperation, decision making, political will, crisis management, defense spending, and defense policy prioritization. The thesis concludes that NATO is moderately prepared to respond effectively to a major act of cyberwar launched against one or more of the Allies. NATO's implementation of its cyber policies and cooperative partnerships probably make it cybernetically prepared to address major acts of cyberwar; however, challenges with decision making, public support, crisis management, defense spending, and defense policies could make NATO less than optimally effective in responding with force to acts of cyber aggression that rise to the level of a conventional armed attack. The thesis recommends that NATO enhance its efforts in cyber strategy development, cyber cooperation, decisional delegation, strategic messaging, and defense spending to address challenges resulting from the evolving complexity and heterogeneity of cyber incidents.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs
Organization
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NPS Report Number
Sponsors
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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