NATO is set to ratify its new cyber defence policy so that any severe cyber attack on a NATO member could soon be considered tantamount to a traditional military attack and invoke Article V - the collective defence clause which considers an attack on one member an attack on all.
“Article V has only ever been invoked once in the history of NATO - in the aftermath of 9-11. The reality is that few cyber attacks are likely to be of sufficient scale and impact to justify invoking Article V - and they would not happen in isolation from a broader deterioration in international security. In other words, if there was a State attack then it would have a broader context.
“This announcement is primarily a rhetorical point which is possibly aimed at having a deterrent effect. Of course, Article V determinations are a political judgement made at the time of an incident, not in advance. There are risks around the increased militarisation of cyber space and we should be cautious about fuelling this. After all, in most cases, the response to a cyber attack is a civil matter.”
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Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.