NATO community discusses data, cloud and securing the Alliance at NIAS

By Communications Team 10/15/2019
​NATO, industry and national leaders kicked off on 15 October 2019 the 15th edition of the NATO Information Assurance Symposium (NIAS), which featured additional topics for the first time.

NATO, industry and national leaders kicked off on 15 October 2019 the 15th edition of the NATO Information Assurance Symposium (NIAS), which featured additional topics for the first time.

NIAS, which has traditionally been a cyber security-focused event, has been expanded this year to cover some of the challenges and opportunities organizations face when dealing with data and cloud computing. On Tuesday, the speakers explored how data and the cloud can both enable enhanced cyber security solutions, and introduce potential risks. The conference also includes 30 workshops, which take place on 15 and 16 October.

More than 1,800 delegates from 46 countries are registered for the three-day conference, and 75 organizations are exhibiting.

NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency General Manager Kevin J Scheid opened the conference with a call to action.

“Join the NCI Agency and help realize a future where smart machines, modern infrastructure, big data and a secure cloud are managed for a bright future," Scheid said. “Join us in working for a big idea — the NATO Alliance. Help us build a fully digital NATO enterprise."

During his keynote address, Scheid announced that the Agency is developing a Data Science Centre. The Centre would be a way to organize the Agency's existing data science expertise into one hub, and deliver them new tools to harness the power of NATO's data.

The Agency is also driving an initiative to train 10,000 cyber defenders over five years, Scheid explained in his keynote address. The Alliance's cyber defenders would be trained at the new NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Academy in Oeiras, Portugal, which first opened its doors in September. The Agency intends to collaborate with NATO Nations and the EU on this initiative.

The first panel discussion of the conference dove into how several Nations are prioritizing their cyber-related investments. The panellists mentioned education and awareness of security best practices as a critical area of focus.

Dr Antonio Missiroli, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, moderated the panel.

"As an Alliance we are more effective in addressing common security challenges together," Dr Missiroli said. “The Cyber Defence Pledge has proven its value in enabling Allies to boost their cyber defences."

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