Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven, NATO's Assistant Secretary-General, emphasized at the 6th National CyberSecurity Conference that "cybersecurity is now right at the top of the agenda" of his international organization. In his words, "cyber threats [...] are more widespread, more complex and more destructive than ever before." The worst-case currently imaginable and discussed, he said, is the destruction of a nuclear power plant by a cyberattack. In addition, there is concern about undermining democratic systems and crippling the operational effectiveness of the armed forces.
From NATO's perspective, "Russia, in particular, poses a significant cyber threat" - NATO understands cyberattacks as part of a "much broader pattern of behavior, [...] the reassertion of great power status." Freytag von Loringhoven also counted North Korea, Iran, and China among the forces that have significantly upgraded their cyber capabilities. China, in particular, he said, is a "heavyweight in this area," along with Russia. Since China and Russia have made technological progress in the fields of cyber and artificial intelligence a top priority, "NATO and its member states [...] must prepare for a merciless technological competition that will cover all aspects of military and non-conventional confrontation."