Cybersecurity Innovation in NATO: Lessons Learned and Recommendations

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 36 (2017)


Cybersecurity Innovation, Data Fusion, Mobile Security, NATO Industry Cyber Partnership, Situational awareness


In the ever-increasing pace of technological development and the emergence of new stateless adversaries and threat vectors, the traditional NATO approach to the technical capability development struggles to address the emerging security challenges in cyberspace. In order to mitigate this situation, we describe an incubator framework, which provides a physical and virtual environment enabling industry, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, science and technology organizations, academia, and national defence labs, to collaborate on innovation projects on the basis of either voluntary, nationally funded, or NATO commonly funded contributions. The proposed incubator framework has been practically validated and technical results have confirmed the feasibility as well as the benefits of setting up a cyber incubator within NATO. This disruptive approach to capability development requires the updating of several internal processes and procedures and the adoption of a new innovation-friendly and risk-tolerant organizational culture within the Organization. We describe the main lessons learned from our experiment and the recommendations regarding required changes to the internal and external NATO processes and procedures.

Last updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2019