Nato has announced the start of its week-long cyber defence exercise, Cyber Coalition.

The exercise, which began on 16 November, aims to train cyber professionals to defend the organisation and national networks. It will also evaluate decision-making processes and procedures.

Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “Nato is committed to defend all allies in cyberspace, as well as on land, in the air and at sea.

“A cyber-attack on one ally can affect all of us. That is why strengthening our cyber defences is a priority for the alliance.”

It is inspired by the current-day threats, and tests the real-time responses of officials to different incidents, which include attempts to breach classified networks, disruption of communications systems in critical infrastructure and espionage via smartphone applications.

Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, the exercise is being conducted virtually, where the cyber defenders are connected via Cyber Security Training Centre in Estonia.

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Approximately, 1,000 officials and experts from the Nato Alliance, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland and the European Union will participate.

Nato has stated that cybersecurity has been a top priority and safeguards its IT networks throughout the day.

In 2014, Nato increased the scope of the collective-defence commitment to include cyber-attacks, while in 2016, it declared cyber to be an operational domain.

In September, the US Department of Defense (DoD) confirmed that it is working to bolster cybersecurity amid increasing threats from adversaries.

This came amid allegations from the US side that China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are increasingly resorting to hostile cyber activities.