NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg claimed this week that a serious cyberattack on one member country would trigger a response from all member countries.
Stoltenberg claims such an event would trigger a 'collective defense commitment', known commonly as Article 5, an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members. Article 5 has been involved once in its history - in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
NATO currently has 29 members, including Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Secretary-General claims that all members have designated cyber-space as space where NATO will operate and defend itself just as it does in the air, on land, and at sea.
Stoltenberg mentioned the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled the National Health System (NHS) in the UK during 2017 claiming that while at the time the incident did not trigger Article 5, if a security event of that magnitude were to occur in the future, all members of NATO would respond accordingly.
Cyber threats to these nations have become increasingly more frequent, complex, and destructive in nature, leaving them no choice but to take a global effort to stop these devastating cyber attacks. Attacks on our virtual world are now being seen as they should have been all along - incredibly dangerous with potentially catastrophic consequences to human lives.