EU enhances Ukraine’s capacity to respond to cyberattacks

The second wave of cybersecurity exercises funded by the European Union took place in Kyiv on 20-22 September for the main Ukrainian public stakeholders in cybersecurity. Over 50 officials of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP), Security Service (SBU), Cyber Police, Ministry of Defence and National Bank (NBU) participated in the training simulation of countering cyberattacks. The training event included a feedback session with leaders of key cybersecurity bodies who raised the issues of effective organisation of the response to cyberattacks. Special attention was paid to cooperation between the main Ukrainian actors in the field of cybersecurity.  

“Such exercises provide a unique opportunity to elaborate scenarios of countering cyberattacks under conditions close to reality and ensure the aligned work of teams, as well as enhance skills to respond to cyber incidents ,” said Viktor Zhora, Deputy Head of SSSCIP.

Tanel Tang, a member of the EU’s Support Group for Ukraine, came to Kyiv to participate in the feedback session on 22 September. “Joint efforts are needed to strengthen the Ukrainian cyberspace and public authorities’ awareness of cybersecurity”, Mr Tang said. “Ukraine’s success in digital transformation depends on secure and reliable digital tools and connectivity. Engaging the best knowledge and experts of the European Union, we help prepare Ukrainian cybersecurity experts for new challenges.”

The exercises were carried out within the framework of the EU-funded EU4DigitalUA project by the Estonian e-Governance Academy (eGA) in a simulation environment of CybExer Technologies OÜ, an Estonian company.  

“Providing right training to IT and cybersecurity staff is more essential than ever. Taking a merely theoretical approach to education is not enough. We are glad to provide the Ukrainian government experts with new technological solutions from Estonia that enable sophisticated virtual environment training methods. Cybersecurity needs constant exercising to keep the country going,” said Merle Maigre, the exercise organiser from eGA.

The training participants were divided in blue and read teams. Blue teams, made up of key Ukrainian cybersecurity experts from state institutions, were engaged in cyber ​​training conducted using a “live fire” method. The red team of organisers launched an intensive real-time attack against the virtual infrastructure of the blue teams. Every blue team had to assess the crisis and ensure the protection and efficiency of services and networks under cyberattacks.  

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