On November 4, 2021, the National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity (NCCC) at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) and the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF Global) hold the eight session of the National Cybersecurity Cluster with support by the U.S. Department of State.
The main discussion of the event was the topic “National Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 – 2025. Goals, objectives, events. Key implementing agencies, roles and areas of responsibility”. In all, 80 experts participated in the work of the session, which was held in a hybrid format.
Serhii Demediuk, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine noted, that for this moment a skyrocket increase in the number of cyber incidents aimed at government resources, commercially valuable information or processes of private sector operators. He remarked that it is extremely important to develop platforms for communicating any malicious activities in cyberspace against single person or organization, to a wide range of actors, and it would allow to jointly develop effective deterrence mechanisms, employ preventive measures, timely localize malign actions. The key aspects in this area will be the cyber forces workforce reserve creation, promotion of the cyber defense specialty, adequate state funding and remuneration for the personnel. It is critical to say, that a new element in the fight against cybercrime and ill-intended use of cyberspace will be establishment of cyber forces, as clearly stated in the National Cybersecurity Strategy of Ukraine 2021 – 2025. The key aspects in this area will be the cyber forces workforce reserve creation, promotion of the cyber defense specialty, adequate state funding and remuneration for the personnel.
Mykhailo Verych, Deputy Program Manager of the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF Global), noted that this event is the second on the topic of the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 – 2025, after the event in March 2021, when the draft Strategy was discussed. Enactment of such a document in a very short time allows now, with participation of the regional authorities and main Strategy implementing agencies, to outline the primary steps, discuss planning and pose questions on the most acute topics. Based on the successful experience of holding a pilot regional cluster session in Khmelnytskyi, CRDF Global together with the NCSCC is planning to hold 3 similar regional events in 2022.
Serhiy Prokopenko, Head of the NCCC Support Service of the NSDC Staff, stressed that strengthening coordination is one of the priorities of the new Cybersecurity Strategy. Therefore, participation in the session of almost all regional authorities is a good starting point to discuss the 2021-2025 Strategy steps. In 2022, a series of events is planned to help build the critical links and coordination not only at the national, but also at the regional level. The NCCC receives many reports of cyberspace monitoring from the private sector, critical infrastructure, local authorities, but the quality of these reports indicates an insufficient level of threat monitoring due to a lack of necessary resources or competencies. The National Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 – 2025 envisages a number of mechanisms applicable for all, from ordinary citizens to organizations and institutions. These mechanisms will allow strengthening security of the national cyberspace.
Vladlen Basystyi, CRDF Global Cybersecurity program Senior Project Lead noted an ongoing expansion of the international community engagement in the Cluster’s activities.
Other speakers reported their presentations, among them were the experts from the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Other issues brought up by the cluster’s participants were the presentation of the roadmap for the implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy of Ukraine, ensuring the development of a network of Centers for responding to cyber attacks and cyber incidents, developing industry standards for cybersecurity, improving digital literacy of citizens and a culture of safe behavior in cyberspace.
The session of the National Cybersecurity Cluster joined participants from government organizations, regional state administrations, the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine, Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Cyber Police, international organizations such as NATO, OSCE, USAID, international companies such as CISCO and others.
Presidential Decree No. 447/2021 of August 26, 2021, approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of May 14, 2021 “About the Cybersecurity Strategy of Ukraine”. The document was based on the approval on March 4, 2021 by the Working Group at the National Cybersecurity Coordination center at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of the draft National Cybersecurity Strategy of Ukraine for 2021-2025.