Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III is meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the U.S. defense cybersecurity initiative, said Bryan Whitman, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.
“It's an opportunity to convey the importance of cybersecurity to our NATO allies, as well as a chance to encourage them to secure NATO systems,“ Whitman said.
Lynn is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen before briefing the alliance's North Atlantic Council on U.S. cyber initiatives. He will then travel to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe to meet with Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe.
Although the focus will be cybersecurity, discussions will also entail various NATO issues, Whitman said. Lynn probably will discuss the NATO mission in Afghanistan with the leaders, and the November NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, he added.
Lynn has previously advocated for a global cybersecurity cooperation to fight the cyber threat. In a June speech in Ottawa, Canada, he noted that more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations try hacking into various aspects of the U.S. IT infrastructure, and foreign militaries are developing offensive cyber capabilities.
Defense officials have said that cyber assaults not only threaten the military, but the critical infrastructure and the economy as well. The U.S. military always has maintained that a shared, alliance approach to cybersecurity is critical to defending against cyber attacks, they said.