Security Experts:

NATO Makes Its Largest Investment To-date In Cyber Security

NATO said it has awarded a contract valued at approximately $76 million (58m Euro) to a group of private companies for the purpose of upgrading its cyber defense capabilities. Representing its largest investment to date in cyber defense, the organization said the initiative will enable the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) to achieve full operational capability by the end of 2012.

Through the new contract, NATO plans to strengthen its ability to support member states in dealing with cyber attacks through improved threat-sharing and “rapid reaction teams" that will be available when assistance is needed.

“The project is a direct result of NATO nations’ commitment to improve capabilities to detect, defend and recover in case of a cyber attack against systems of critical importance to the Alliance. This award is an important step towards delivering these capabilities by the end of 2012,” said Assistant Secretary General Gabor Iklody, head of the lead body for NATO cyber defense at NATO Headquarters.

In December 2011, the international organization conducted a three-day exercise that brought together 29 nations in large-scale cyber defense exercise that included various simulated computer viruses and malicious programs to help prepare for attemps to infiltrate their networks.

In comparison, a recent report from NASA, which spends more than $1.5 billion annually on its IT-related activities, showed that the agency spent $58 million on IT security.

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