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Defense of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in cyberspace requires an understanding of the threats the alliance must face, knowing where it must act, and ensuring that the alliance has the capabilities and capacity available to successfully defend itself. The authors of this Perspective review the new security challenges NATO faces and discuss current efforts by NATO to consider and adapt its structure, forces, systems, and processes to prepare itself for integrating cyberspace as an operational domain. The authors discuss many challenges with successfully operating in cyberspace and provide particular focus on indications and warning (I&W) as an emerging need that all states should address to maintain and ensure an effective military presence within cyberspace. Cyber I&W is a relatively new capability for all modern states and military alliances, and the authors explore some of the existing scholarship and adapt a leading framework for the NATO context.

This research was conducted by the RAND Cyber and Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

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