The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and FireEye, Inc. [FEYE] signed an Industry Partnership Agreement (IPA) on cyber information sharing on Dec. 15, the agency said Dec. 16.

The agreement aims to foster timely information sharing on cyber threats to allow both organizations to enhance situational awareness and better protect their respective networks. NATO said this further strengthens NATO and industry collective cyber defense efforts.

The agreement will facilitate quick and early bilateral exchange of no classified technical information related to cyber threats and vulnerabilities, which will be integrated into the NCI Agency’s 24/7 detection and prevention process.

This IPA is the ninth in a series of agreements between the NCI Agency and industry partners where both entities generate high-quality data in a mutually improved ability to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber attacks, the agency said. These fall under the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership (NICP).

NATO Heads of State and Government endorsed the NICP in 2014 to bolster collaboration with industry groups and the NATO Warsaw Summit earlier in 2016 had alliance members focus on the necessity for additional information sharing and industry partnerships to address cybersecurity issues.

“If we are going to move faster than the cyber threats we face, then it is absolutely imperative that we exchange timely and actionable threat information with industry,” retired Maj. Gen Koen Gijsbers, general manager of the NCI Agency, said in a statement.

“FireEye’s depth of expertise from responding to many of the largest cyber breaches in the world will be very valuable to the IPA framework. We look forward to a productive partnership,” he added.

Tony Cole, FireEye’s vice president and global government Chief Technology Officer (CTO), expanded on why this agreement is a positive step.

“Public and private sector organizations face the same challenge of managing a large number of low-fidelity data and alerts from traditional security offerings like next generation firewalls, endpoint, and intrusion prevention systems – masking real threats and slowing response.”

“In forming an information sharing partnership with NATO, we add additional visibility to FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence that helps protect our customers and offer high-fidelity intelligence that enables better threat detection and faster response on NATO’s networks and systems,” he said in a statement.

The NCI Agency provides NATO-wide interoperable communications and information systems and services, especially IT, C4ISR, and cyber capabilities. Its missions is to connect the alliance, defend the alliance’s networks, provide support to NATO operations, deliver critical capabilities, and assist NATO and partner nations in developing interoperable and cost-effective capabilities in the C4ISR realm.