NIS has participated in the world’s largest international live-fire cyber defense exercise

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) has become a member of a cyber defence centre for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, reports the Korea Herald.

According to NIS, it has been admitted as a contributing participant for NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, a cyber defense group based in Tallinn, Estonia. It is the second East Asian country after Japan to join the group. 

It is a cyber knowledge hub focused on research, training, and exercises in the field of cybersecurity.

The NIS submitted its application to join the group in 2019, and has made efforts to contribute to the group. The intelligence unit has participated in the world’s largest international live-fire cyber defense exercise.

With Korea’s membership, the NATO unit now has 32 countries as its official members – 27 NATO member countries, which are categorised as sponsoring nations, and five contributing participants which are non-NATO countries.

Threat without borders

“Cyber threats are causing great damage to not only individuals but also separate nations and also trans-nationally, so close international cooperation is crucial,” NIS said.

“We plan to send more employees to the CCDCOE and expand the scope of joint exercises to reinforce our cyber defense capabilities,” NIS added.

It comes amid warnings of spillover cyber attacks as the geopolitical landscape continues to shift. 

Cyberattacks on businesses and government agencies have increased following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Fitch Ratings, with the risk of non-primary targets being caught in the crossfire becoming more widespread.

Heightened risk exists particularly for firms conducting business in these countries or with their governments, as well as for entities or countries that impose sanctions or deemed to interfere, says the rating agency.

Potential targets include critical infrastructure such as financial services, governments and utilities.