New Head of NATO Communications Named

Technology > Security

An American now leads the technology and cyber security arm of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  

Kevin Scheid, a veteran of the US Department of Defense, assumed the top post at the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency on July 1.

The NCI Agency spends about €1 billion ($1.1 billion) annually to ensure the technological backbone of the 29-nation alliance can fight terrorism, protect European airspace, conduct maritime operations, and withstand cyber attacks.  To meet this end, the NCI Agency will be seeking bids for €3.2 billion in orders for satellite communications, air and missile defenses, cyber security and advanced software.

Cyber security now tops NATO’s agenda after Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said attacks on the NATO’s electronic infrastructure jumped by 60 percent last year to an average of 500 a month. Most of the incidents were state-sponsored, according to NATO.

Scheid has three years to serve as general manager of NCI Agency.  Among his most immediate tasks is to ensure that NATO’s new headquarters in the Belgian capital has properly protected information-technology (IT) systems.

Construction of the €1.1-billion glass-and-steel structure, which Scheid called “one of the world’s most complex and largest security systems,” is virtually complete while IT work continues.

NATO plans to transfer its workforce of 4,500 to the site, located just opposite the current head office, later this year.   

Image by: Nicolas Raymond / Flickr