EU helps Ukraine strengthen its cybersecurity

  • Date: 21/05/21
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A cybersecurity simulation exercise took place on 17-19 May in Kyiv, with state cybersecurity officials, organised by the EU4DigitalUA project. Over 30 officials from the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Cyber Police of Ukraine participated in a training on countering cyber attacks.

“The European Union firmly stands by Ukraine, including by enhancing its capacities to cope with cyber threats,” said Rémi Duflot, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, at the award ceremony for training participants. “The aim of these exercises is to improve the resilience and expertise of the Ukrainian cybersecurity authorities to prevent and deflect attacks. It is part of the EU’s broad support to Ukraine. Digital transformation and e-governance are among the most successful Ukrainian reforms. They also need to be protected.” 

“Blue Teams” of defenders, made up of key Ukrainian cyber security institutions, were engaged in threat hunting and other specific predefined tasks revealed to the participants only during the exercise. The “Blue Teams” learned how attackers work, as mock attacks were launched on predefined IT infrastructure by the “Red Team” of exercise organisers. Ukrainian IT experts learned what indicators of compromise attackers leave behind and how they move between the network systems.

Viktor Zhora, Deputy Head of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, in charge of digital development, digital transformations and digitisation, stressed: “One of the tasks of the UA30 cyber defenсe reform is to raise the professional level of cybersecurity specialists. Today we made an important step in this direction – for the first time, our specialists took part in cyber competitions organised by EU4DigitalUA. This became possible thanks to the updated UA30 Cybercentre which houses a unique training centre for Ukraine. There are only 20 such centres worldwide, and six of them are located in the USA.”

The exercises were carried out in the framework of the EU-funded EU4DigitalUA project, implemented by the Estonian e-Governance Academy (eGA).

“Our everyday lives are dependent on how secure our cyberspace is. Being well prepared for a cyberattack is the best option for safeguarding the country’s critical infrastructure and services. The exercise is an excellent opportunity for security teams to cooperate with each other, as well as test their procedures and skills of detection and response to cyberattacks,” said Hannes Astok, Executive Director of eGA and Head of EU4DigitalUA. 

 The EU4DigitalUA project is funded by the European Union and continues the work of the EGOV4UKRAINE project, implemented in 2016—2021 within the U-LEAD with Europe programme. With a budget of €20.5 million, EU4DigitalUA is focused on the further development of digital government infrastructure, public e-services, cyber security and data protection. The project is jointly implemented in 2020-2024 by the Estonian e-Governance Academy (eGA) and the Spanish FIIAPP foundation. More information is available at the project’s website and Facebook page.

Press release