William J. Lynn Meets with NATO Leaders for Cybersecurity Discussions

Photo: DoD
Photo: DoD

Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III yesterday arrived in Belgium to discuss U.S. defense cybersecurity initiative with NATO leaders.

“It’s an opportunity to convey the importance of cybersecurity to our NATO allies, as well as a chance to encourage them to secure NATO systems,” said Bryan Whitman, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

Lynn is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen before briefing the alliance’s North Atlantic Council on U.S. cyber initiatives. He will then travel to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe to meet with Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe.

While Lynn will primarily focus on web security, the discussions will also cover the a wide array of NATO issues, Whitman said. Lynn probably will discuss the NATO mission in Afghanistan with the leaders, and the November NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, he added.

An effective defense of the digital infrastructure will require international cooperation, Lynn has said. More than 100 foreign intelligence organizations are trying to hack into various aspects of the U.S.  IT  infrastructure, and foreign militaries are developing offensive cyber capabilities, he noted in a June speech in Canada’s capital of Ottawa.

The Canadian, British and Australian militaries have agreed to work closely with the United States to combat the threat to military information systems, defense officials said. The U.S. military always has maintained that a shared, alliance approach to cybersecurity is critical to defending against cyber attacks, they added.

Lynn’s briefing will update NATO’s 28 nations on U.S. initiatives and suggest measures to improve cybersecurity for the alliance and among the individual countries, Whitman said.

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