Brussels: European security bloc NATO has sought cooperation with India in the arena of cyber warfare in a bid to counter threats, particularly those originating from China. Increasingly, NATO officials are trying to draw India into their ambit of operations listing large areas of mutual concern, including counter-terrorism, missile defence and anti-piracy.
"The cyber world does not recognise alignments. It only understands switches," said a top NATO official during a briefing to visiting Indian journalists, while making a strong pitch for joint efforts to combat cyber threats.
NATO officials suggested this could be a functional alignment in which both sides could give and take. "India has an advanced cyber and IT industry and is very strong in cyber issues", he said, hinting that India and NATO can cooperate in this field.
"Democracies face challenges that are common. As democracies we can have a dialogue, as we deal with issues differently... We need to work together, because individually we cannot. It is better to deal with such issues commonly than deal with them individually."
According to NATO officials, even though threats faced by both nations were different, the nature of our responses could be similar.
Though he did not mention any of India's neighbours from where the cyber-attack challenge came, he hinted at China from where such threats had come in the recent past.
Earlier, NATO officials had thrown broad hints that India could cooperate with NATO in developing and deploying a missile defence system with common technologies.