North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Acronym: NATO

Address: Boulevard Leopold III, 1110 Brussels, Belgium


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1949 with the overall purpose of guaranteeing the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. 

NATO has 31 member states, which are committed to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area. The organisation promotes democratic values and enables its members to cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust, and prevent conflict. Its members are also committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. However, if diplomatic efforts fail, NATO has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. 

As a collective defence organisation, NATO has embeded cyber defence in its strategic and institutional framework. In 2016, the 28 member states agreed to declare cyberspace as NATO’s fourth operational domain, in addition to air, land, and sea. The organisation’s Policy on cyber defence establishes that cyber defence is part of the organisations’ core task of collective defense, confirms that international law applies in cyberspace, and outlines NATO’s cooperation with the private sector. As part of this policy, NATO has established a Computer Incident Response Capability, aimed at protecting its own networks, and is assisting member states in their cybersecurity efforts, by sharing information and best practices, and conducting cyber defence exercises. 

NATO has also established a Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which focuses on reserach and training in the field of cybersecurity.