North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Last Updated: September 2020

Relevant Strategy Documents, Other Documents, and Communications.

Strategy Documents

Official documents of the intergovernmental organization designed to outline the policy plans, priorities, and principles in cybersecurity and cybersecurity-related matters.

Enhanced Cyber Defence Policy (not published)
Heads of State and Government
• Clarifies that a major digital attack on a member state could be covered by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty;
• Further improves information-sharing and mutual assistance between Allies, enhances training and exercises and furthers cooperation with the industry.
5 September 2014 (approved on)
2018 Brussels Summit Declaration
Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels 11-12 July 2018
  • Addresses cyber threats (para. 20);
  • Identifies cyber defence as part of NATO’s core task of collective defence;
  • Reaffirming NATO’s defensive mandate, determined to employ the full range of capabilities, including cyber, to deter, defend against, and to counter the full spectrum of cyber threats, including those conducted as part of a hybrid campaign. 
11 July 2018
Other Documents

Guideline documents that lay out common approaches, frameworks, best practices etc. pertaining to cyber policy.

Tallinn Manual 2.0
  • Document issued by CCDCOE, affiliated entity - not officially endorsed by Allies;
  • Comprehensive analysis of how existing international law applies to cyberspace and the more common cyber incidents that states encounter on a day-to-day basis;
  • The Original Tallinn Manual focused mainly on the most severe cyberoperations, those violating the prohibition of the use of force in international relations. 

Statements distributed by organizations and/or organizational agencies outlining positions, commitments, action plans, obligations etc. in the area of cyber policy.

Guide to Developing a National Cybersecurity Strategy: Strategic Engagement in Cybersecurity
ITU, the World Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, NATO CCD COE
• Co-publication aiming to guide national policy-makers in the development of a national cybersecurity strategy;
• Provides an overview of a strategy development lifecycle, overarching principles for a strategy, focus areas and good practices, and supporting reference materials.
Cyber Defence Pledge
Heads of State and Government
Pledge by the Allied Heads of State and Government to strengthen and enhance the cyber defences of national networks and infrastructures as a matter of priority.
8 July 2016
Wales Summit Declaration
Heads of State and Government
• Endorsed an Enhanced Cyber Defence Policy, which reaffirms the principles of the indivisibility of Allied security and of prevention, detection, resilience, recovery, and defence;
• Recognizes that international law applies in cyberspace;
• Affirms cyber defence as part of NATO's core task of collective defence.
5 September 2014

Relevant Specialized Agencies and Key Positions.

Specialized Agencies

The official nodal agencies within the organization established or proposed to be established and designated with responsibilities for supporting processes related to cyber policy matters.

NATO Communications and Information Agency
NATO Communications and Information Organization
  • Responsible for connecting the Alliance, defending its networks, and providing rapid support to NATO operations and missions;
  • Tasked with delivering critical capabilities, including: the command and control technology for NATO's ballistic missile defence, the Air Command and Control System, support to NATO's Joint ISR Initiative and Federated Mission Networking;
  • Runs the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC), providing round the clock protection of NATO networks.
1 July 2012
North Atlantic Council
  • Provides high-level political oversight on all aspects of the implementation of the NATO Policy on Cyber Defence;
  • Apprised of major cyber incidents and attacks, and
  • Exercises principal authority in cyber defence-related crisis management.
Cyber Defence Committee
North Atlantic Council

Lead committee for political governance and cyber defence policy in general, providing oversight and advice to Allied countries on NATO’s cyber defence efforts at the expert level.

NATO Cyber Defence Management Board
  • Responsible for coordinating cyber defence throughout NATO civilian and military bodies;
  • Comprises the leaders of the policy, military, operational and technical bodies in NATO with responsibilities for cyber defence.
NATO Consultation, Control and Command (NC3) Board

Constitutes the main committee for consultation on technical and implementation aspects of cyber defence.

NATO Military Authorities

Bear the specific responsibilities for identifying the statement of operational requirements, acquisition, implementation and operating of NATO’s cyber defence capabilities, along with the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).

Allied Command Transformation

Responsible for the planning and conduct of the annual Cyber Coalition Exercise.

NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE)
  • Affiliated entity - not part of NATO structure;
  • Supports its member nations and NATO with cyber defence expertise in the fields of technology, strategy, operations and law;
  • Organizes Locked Shields, the world's largest and most complex international technical cyber defence exercise;
  • Organizes the annual conference on cyber conflict, CyCon;
  • Not part of NATO's military command or force structure.
Key Positions

Key positions pertinent to the cyber policy of the organization (or aspects thereof) and its implementation.

Director, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence
General Manager, NATO Communications and Information Agency

Regulations and Directives.


Relevant Meetings, Activities, and External Cooperation.


Conferences and dialogues related to cyber policy matters carried out by the regional, sub-regional or multilateral organization.

NATO Information Assurance Symposium (NIAS)

NATO's largest cyber conference on the critical role cyber security plays in securing the Alliance.

NATO Annual Cyber Coalition Exercise
  • Annual exercise testing and training cyber defenders from across the Alliance in their ability to defend NATO and national networks involving around participants from Allies, partners, industry and academia;
  • Aims to enhance coordination and collaboration between NATO and Allies, strengthen the  ability to protect Alliance cyberspace, and conduct military operations in the cyber domain.
International Conference on Cyber Conflict

• Organized annually since 2009;
• Hosts all the focus areas of cyber conflict in a single event, allowing in-depth discussions on specific topics related to technology and malware development, education and training issues, legal aspects, etc. 

2009 (first conference)

Joint exercises, training programs, and other initiatives related to cyber policy matters undertaken by the organization.

Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Course
  • Provided by CCDCOE, entity affiliated to NATO;
  • Unclassified course intended for mid-level managers responsible for the protection of critical information infrastructure. 
2018 (since)
Executive Cyber Seminar
  • Provided by CCDCOE, entity affiliated to NATO;
  • Course for senior level staff for whom cyberspace is a new area of responsibility or consideration. 
2017 (since)
Technical Courses
  • Provided by CCDCOE, entity affiliated to NATO;
  • Technical courses organized twice a year with an aim to bring together and train computer and network security specialists. 
2015 (since)
Law Course
  • Provided by CCDCOE, entity affiliated to NATO;
  • Offered twice per year, the course provides a practice-oriented survey of the international law applicable to cyber operations involving States. 
2014 (since)
Locked Shields

• Biggest and most advanced international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world: scenario-based real-time network defence exercise focusing on training security experts who protect IT systems on a daily basis;
• Organized annually.

2010 (first exercise)
External Cooperation

Legally binding and non-legally binding agreement(s) and initiatives related to cyber policy matters undertaken by the organization with non-member States and other organizations.

Project, NATO-Moldova
NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme

Multi-year project to establish the Moldovan Armed Forces Cyber Incident Response Capability with a supporting cyber defence infrastructure. 

13 Feb. 2018
Cooperation, Estonia/NATO-Japan

• Cooperation on cybersecurity;
• Japan to join the NATO-accredited cyber defence hub (NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, CCDCOE) based in Tallinn. 

12 Jan. 2018
Cooperation Agreement, EU-NATO
EU Ministers

Agreement to step up cooperation between the two organisations in a number of areas, including cyber security and defence

8 december 2017
NATO-Kuwait ICI Regional Center activities

Includes cooperation in cyber defence

17-20 September 2017
Agreement, NATO-Lithuania

Agreement enhancing Lithuanian and NATO cooperation in cyber security.

6 Jul. 2017
Cooperation, NATO-Bosnia and Herzegovina

Exploration of common solutions to security challenges in the arae of cyber defence during the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme Information Day

19 May 2017
Morocco-NATO Talks

• Cooperation in the field of countering cyber security risks at the heart of the talks;
• Examination of future cooperation prospects in cyber security.

18 May 2017
EU-NATO (15283/16)
European Council

Council Conclusions on the Implementation of the 8 July 2016 EU-NATO Joint Declaration.

6 december 2016
NATO Training

Training to improve expertise and technical knowledge and to contribute to the strengthening of Iraqi national cyber defence capabilities

November-December 2016
Memorandum of Understanding, Bulgaria-NATO

Facilitate information-sharing on cyber threats and best practices, improve the prevention of cyber incidents and increase Bulgaria’s resilience to cyber threats

26 Oct. 2016
Memorandum of Understanding, Iceland-NATO
Permanent Representative of Iceland to NATO

Memorandum of Understanding on cyber defence cooperation.

18 Oct. 2016
Memorandum of Understanding, Portugal-NATO

Second generation Memorandum of Understanding, aims to further improve cyber defence cooperation and assistance between NATO and national cyber defence authorities.

14 Jul. 2016
Memorandum of Understanding, Slovenia-NATO

Memorandum of Understanding on cyber defence cooperation.

10 May 2016
EU-NATO Technical Arrangement
NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC); CERT-EU

Facilitates technical information sharing between NCIRC and CERT-EU to improve cyber incident prevention, detection adn response in both organisations, in line with their decision making autonomy and procedures.

10 Feb. 2016
NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project to enhance Jordanian cyber defence capabilities

Includes 2017 establishment of CERT team; follow-up multi-year project is currently under development

NATO-Ukraine Trust Fund for Cyber Defense

• Provides Ukraine with the necessary support to develop its strictly defensive, CSIRT-type technical capabilities, including laboratories to investigate cybersecurity incidents;
• Training and advisory dimension based on the interests of both Allies and Ukraine derived from the requirements of Ukraine's security and defence sector institutions. 

december 2014
Discussions, Slovakia-NATO

• Meeting on NATO defense planning process;
• Included discussions on cyber security.

5 Jun. 2013
Memorandum of Understanding, NATO-Czech Republic

Concerning cooperation on cyber defence

14 Mar. 2012
Memorandum of Understanding, Romania-NATO

Memorandum of Understanding with NATO Cyber Defence Management Board to increase cooperation on cyber security.

18 Oct. 2011
Memorandum of Understanding, Lithuania-NATO

• Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Cyber Defence with NATO;
• Participates in various NATO cyber exercises such as Cyber Coalition, Crisis Management Exercise CMX, and others.

Summer 2010

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