US Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn believes NATO must construct a "cyber shield" to protect critical Alliance infrastructure from hostile digital threats.
"Cyber security is a [vital] element [and] the Alliance has a crucial role to play in extending a blanket of security over our networks," Lynn explained during a recent conference in a statement quoted by AFP.
"NATO has a nuclear shield, it is building a stronger and stronger defense shield, it needs a cyber shield as well."
Indeed, according to Lynn, the Cold War precept of "shared warning" clearly applies to 21st century cyber security as well.
"[Foreign intelligence agencies] see the asymmetric advantage that can be gained through cyber technology. And just as our air defenses, our missile defenses have been [historically] linked - so too do our cyber defenses need to be linked as well.
"We [obviously] need to take decisive action to defend [our] networks. [Fortunately], I [am] very impressed with the unity of purpose and the similar vision that most nations in the alliance seem to have towards the cyber threat," he added.