The resilience of the national cybersecurity system depends on the effective work of the relevant bodies in the regions of Ukraine. Due to this, it is of high importance not only to pay attention to the general needs in the field, but also to determine and address the emerging requests on a local level.
In terms of hostilities, the issue becomes even more topical since each element of the national cybersecurity system serves both as a shield for the country and a target for adversaries at the same time.
The review of the local needs became the focus of the 13th National Cybersecurity Cluster session, which was held in the regional format in Uzhhorod on the basis of Uzhhorod National University for the first time.
“This is the first time we are meeting in a regional format in the heart of Zakarpattia Oblast. We made this decision together with the NCCC to emphasize the importance of each region as a player in the national cybersecurity system. It is the timely response to regional needs in wartime that is the key to stability on our cyber front. In this context, the process of coordinating efforts, which is the main goal of the Cluster, comes to the fore,” – stressed Mykhailo Verych, Senior Operations Manager at CRDF Global.
To discuss such issues, 250 representatives of almost 140 organizations joined the event both online and offline. The number covered national and regional government bodies, international institutions, private sector, and academia. Representatives of Lviv and Transcarpathia regional administrations, including deputy heads for digital development, transformations and digitalization, the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection as well as Transcarpathia IT Cluster presented during the event.
“The war has changed the risk maps and cyber threat landscape. Today, we see how various organizations are moving their infrastructure and information assets to more secure places in Ukraine. This creates new challenges in terms of administration. At the same time, the focus of cyberattacks is shifting from the central to regional level. Accordingly, the issue of regional cyber security is extremely relevant for us today,” – noted Serhii Prokopenko, Head of the National Cybersecurity Coordination Center Support Department at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC).
While exchanging thoughts regarding regional needs, challenges and solutions, the active discussion emerged. This allowed to review the issues from different angles and marked the high interest in fostering local cyberdefence.
The highlight of the session was the announce of the National Defense Hackathon to be conducted soon by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in close cooperation with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, NSDC and the Representation of U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation in Ukraine, CRDF Global, with the support of the U.S. Department of State.
“The establishment of the cyber forces is determined by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine as one of the priorities. The National Defense Hackathon is a timely and relevant step to unite the efforts of cyber volunteers and stimulate best practices in the sphere of cyber defense to respond to aggression of Russia and its allies in the cyber space. This will contribute to the support of the ground operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and will allow to learn a new toolkit for cyber warfare and determine the most effective organizational and legal model of the state’s cyber defense,” – said in his speech Oleh Haiduk, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for Digital Development, Digital Transformations, and Digitization.
The National Cybersecurity Cluster is a joint coordination effort of the NCCC at the NSDC and Representation of U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation in Ukraine, CRDF Global, with the support of the U.S. Department of State. The platform unites key Ukrainian and international players in the sphere of cybersecurity and related areas to address key needs of cyber community in Ukraine.