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NATO and Czech Republic to bolster cyberdefense

By Ryan Maass

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Officials from NATO and the Czech Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming to improve cooperation and assistance on cyberdefense.

The document was signed by NATO Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, and Czech Director of National Security Dušan Navrátil. The document is a follow up to the Enhanced NATO Policy on Cyber Defense in 2014. The Czech Republic is the first NATO ally to sign the memorandum.

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"We are glad that the Czech Republic was quick to complete their MOU with NATO," Ambassador Ducaru said in a statement. "Such an MOU represents an important tool for NATO and Allies to ensure better protection of our networks."

Director Navrátil praised the measure of cooperation, stating in return that swift decision making is crucial for combating cyber threats. The MOU initiates both information exchange between the country and the alliance and training exercises for cybersecurity personnel.

NATO has increased its focus on cybersecurity, however its operations in the area are relatively new. Acknowledging the growing sophistication and repetition of such attacks, the alliance approved its first cyberdefense policy in January 2008 after communications systems were attacked in Estonia.

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Under their policies, NATO and member states are responsible for protecting their own communication networks, with allies sharing intelligence and information.

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