US Cyber Chief Goes to Europe to Enhance NATO's Cyber Resilience Amid Ukraine Crisis
18:10 GMT 02.02.2022 (Updated: 18:14 GMT 02.02.2022)
© CHIP SOMODEVILLADeputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger answers reporters' questions during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on September 02, 2021 in Washington, DC.
© CHIP SOMODEVILLA
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Top US cyber official Anne Neuberger is traveling to Europe this week to explore ways of boosting national and alliance resilience in cyber space against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.
"The current tensions in Ukraine and a potential for malicious cyber activity to be a core element of any escalation is a reminder to all countries of the importance of network defense and partnership. And as much we can do to build on the progress we’ve made in our countries, NATO has made … in cyber defense to use this crisis to accelerate our progress. That’s the reason for my meetings in Brussels, meetings with my EU counterparts, consultation with the North Atlantic Council to enhance national and alliance resilience in cyber space," Neuberger told a telephone briefing.
The focus of all her engagements is to ensure that the United States and its allies and partners are prepared for any cyber-related contingency in the current environment, and to discuss how to support Ukraine and each other if such incidents occur.
Overall, the US is focused on three areas.
"First, continue working with Ukraine and neighboring states to shore up cyber defences. Second, working with allies and partners including through NATO to shore up defenses and coordinate responses to further Russian aggression if needed," Neuberger said. "And last but not least, encouraging each country to shore up defenses at home as we are working in the United States," she continued.
Neuberger also said the focus of her discussions in Europe is how to help Ukraine defend both its southern and digital borders.
"The purpose of our discussion is to underscore the unity of the alliance and to work closely with Ukrainians to harden their defense to ensure that they are able to defend themselves - southern borders and digital borders," she said.
Neuberger added that Russia has a capable cyberprogram. However, Ukrainians are making "great progress in addressing cyber incidents and recovering from them," she added.
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Brussels was the first stop on Neuberger's European tour. She is due to travel to Warsaw to meet with Polish and Baltic officials as well as members of the Bucharest Nine group, which brings together Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
In January, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said the ministry’s websites and those of several other government agencies were down due to malicious cyber activities. The website of the Education Ministry displayed a message about an alleged leak of Ukrainians’ personal data.
Following the reported cyber attacks against Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN in an interview that claims of Russian involvement are groundless, and Moscow "has nothing to do with these cyber attacks."
Last week CNN reported, citing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence bulletin, that Russia may conduct a cyberattack on the US if it concludes that its national security is threatened as a result of a US or NATO response to potential escalation in the Ukraine conflict. DHS was said to have distributed a memo to critical infrastructure operators and state and local governments in the US, warning them of potential cyber threats.