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Poland leads NATO cyber defense exercise

27.11.2023 12:30
Poland has taken a leading role in the largest global military cyber exercise, "Cyber Coalition 2023," which begins on Monday.
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay Pixabay licence

This annual NATO exercise, running from November 27 to December 1, highlights Poland's growing prominence in cybersecurity and the trust placed in its capabilities by NATO allies, officials have said.

The drills are part of NATO's broader strategy since the 2016 Warsaw summit, and a significant step for international cybersecurity collaboration, recognizing cyber space as a military operational domain alongside land, sea, and air, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Polish Cyberspace Defense Forces (WOC) are equipped for a full spectrum of operations, from active defense against cyberattacks to reconnaissance and offensive actions, ready to respond adequately to threats against Polish cyberspace, according to military officials.

Lt. Col. Przemysław Lipczyński, spokesman for the Polish Command Component of the Cyberspace Defense Forces, emphasized the scale of the event, which brings together around a thousand specialists from NATO countries, European Union institutions, and partner nations such as Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine and Japan.

This year, Poland assumes Regional Command, orchestrating cyber defense activities for Central and Eastern European countries from Estonia to Bulgaria.

This responsibility underlines the trust and confidence NATO allies have in the Polish Cyberspace Defense Forces, a testament to their global standing and the tangible results of investments in cybersecurity, Lipczyński said.

The exercise involves a cyberattack on a fictional allied nation, focusing on realistic threats such as attacks on information systems, critical infrastructure, and supply chains.

According to Lipczyński, these exercises enhance collective cyber resilience and test the adequacy and effectiveness of response procedures and mechanisms.

Cyber Coalition 2023 also serves as a vital platform for strengthening ties, experimentation, and sharing of experiences. "As cybersecurity is an ever-evolving operational domain, such collaborative efforts are essential to meet current and future challenges," said Lipczyński.

The exercise, coordinated through the NATO Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, sees participants from various countries engaging remotely to demonstrate readiness for collective defense against cyberattacks on any ally.

The Polish Cyberspace Defense Forces, formally established in 2022 following a 2019 decision, are on track to reach full operational capability in 2024. They currently comprise around 6,500 military and civilian employees providing support in information technology and cybersecurity to other military units.


Source: PAP