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NATO has confirmed plans to create new elite cyber defence teams designed to deal with hyper-sophisticated threats.
NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the plan at a keynote in Brussels on Wednesday, confirming that the alliance will form quick-reaction cyber defence teams to protect its networks, while also aiding allies being hit by cyber attacks. The teams' services are planned to be made available to all NATO member states by October.
Rasmussen said the cyber teams' creation is an essential step that will help member states deal with an increased cyber threat, warning that no nation is currently equipped to deal with problem alone.
"Cyber attacks do not stop at national borders. Our defenses should not, either," he said. "We are all closely connected. An attack on one ally, if not dealt with quickly and effectively, can affect us all. Cyber defense is only as effective as the weakest link in the chain. By working together, we strengthen the chain."
Rasmussen cited the 2,500 significant attempts on NATO's networks over the last year as proof of the increased threat, but added that, despite the rise, the alliance is yet to suffer a serious security breach.
NATO is one of many bodies to attempt to address the growing cyber threat facing Europe. The European Commission has similarly cited improving the region's defences as a key part of its Digital Agenda and Cyber Security Strategy.
Within the UK the government has launched a slew of new initiatives to help train a new generation of security experts and increase information sharing between the public and private sector.
Most recently these have included the creation of two new cyber security higher education centres at Oxford University and Royal Holloway University London and the formulation of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP).