In the past decade, the cyber domain, or cyberspace, has become the most challenging and pressing issue of recent times in the area of international security. In an ultra-connected world, where information travels at an uncontrollable rate and data is becoming the new resource to be mined; it ultimately affects every aspect of modern life. From the economy to civil liberties, it has become the new focus of national security strategies and legal frameworks.
Cyberspace has become the fifth battle space in an increasingly complex security landscape, and cyber threats have been part of the international security arena. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has tackled cyber threats for over a decade. NATO’s awareness towards cyber threats started rising in the late 1990s, following cyber-attacks by Serbian hackers against NATO Supreme Command’s (SHAPE) website during the bombing campaign on Serbian positions as part of the response to the violence in Kosovo* in 1999. The cyber-attacks against Estonia in 2007 and in the context of the conflict in Georgia in 2008 urged the Alliance to take these new threats seriously. NATO is today the most advanced international organisation regarding cyber defence.
As cyber security became a more prominent issue in modern conflict, armies must adapt education and training given within schoolhouses to their military. Some of them already reviewed their program and infrastructure to rise substantially the level of skills and knowledge detained by their soldier. Although the recent aggression of Russia gives some food for thought and helps West’s armies to incorporate lessons from the battlefield, many states did not waited for a high-intensity conflict to develop their cyber security architecture and capacities.
The European Union (EU) is mobilising a team of specialists, the Cyber Rapid Response Team (CRRT), to back up Ukrainian cybersecurity efforts during the current conflict. As the country is fighting on many fronts, this measure intends to strengthen the Ukrainian response to cyber-attacks by employing European expertise and capabilities.
Fifth-generation wireless technology, or 5G, is becoming increasingly popular among different sectors and industries. This new technology could also be a useful instrument for the European defence sector. It will provide next-generation connectivity and more unified network management to armed forces around the globe.