On 11 February, Alliance representatives in the Cyber Defence Committee met with the Government of the Netherlands, industry and NATO’s Communications and Information (NCI) Agency on opportunities for fast-tracking innovation in the Alliance’s cyber defences.
The visit was organized by the Delegation of the Netherlands to NATO in the context of NATO’s Industry Cyber Partnership, endorsed by Alliance Heads of State and Government at the Wales Summit. It began with a visit to the company Fox IT, a partner of the Government of the Netherlands, with a demonstration and discussion on how earlier engagement between NATO Allies and industry can be mutually beneficial, particularly in the field of cyber education and training.
Cyber defence incubator
The afternoon session was hosted at the NCI Agency’s The Hague office, where the Agency’s cyber innovation team is located. It included a presentation of the Dutch TNO Organization and its cyber security programme. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. For Ambassador Ducaru, “The interaction with government and industry representatives here in the Netherlands, as well as that with the NCI Agency innovation team has been particularly interesting and productive. Cooperation with industry in the field of cyber innovation and information exchange is of particular importance to keep up with the fast evolving cyber threat landscape.”
“Secure communications is at the heart of NATO’s post-Wales agenda – be it more exercises or air and missile defence,” said Koen Gijsbers, General Manager of the NCI Agency in his introductory briefing, “Our greatest challenge is to rapidly innovate to meet the evolving threats.”
In this context, both TNO and the Agency briefed on proposals to strengthen collaboration with industry, including small and medium enterprises in order to find out-of-the-box solutions to counter upcoming challenges.
The Agency briefed the 28 National representatives on a pilot cyber incubator project that has been launched and will run for four months. In close partnership with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, it will seek to anticipate emerging threats in cyber space and seek early industry engagement in their resolution.