The National Cyber Security Coordination Center (NCSCC) at the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) together with CRDF Global united key world`s cyber community representatives at the first National Cybersecurity Cluster session conducted on the international level. For the first time, the Cluster, which is the only regular Ukrainian initiative of such a kind in the field implemented with the support of the Department of State, was conducted abroad in Warsaw, Poland.
The session gathered over 300 online participants. 32 participants, including representatives of international and donor communities as well as academia and private sector, attended the event in person.
Ukraine’s impetuous drive towards membership in the European Union (EU) involves several important steps, including the adaptation of the country’s legal framework to the EU legislation. This process is called “harmonization” and is mandatory for all member states. The field of cybersecurity is no exception. This very process was the key topic of the 18th meeting of the Cluster.
Serhii Demediuk, NSDC Deputy Secretary, Vasyl Zvarych, Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Poland, Tadeusz Chomicki, Ambassador for Cyber and Tech Affairs Security Policy Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Christopher Smith, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and Mykhailo Verych, Senior Operations Manager at CRDF Global opened the event.
“Coordination of efforts has always been Cluster`s main goal. That is what we have set as a priority with our partners from the very beginning. This concept is not solely relating to the idea of smooth cooperation of all the players at the national level, which is certainly the prerequisite of cybersecurity system sustainability. Our foreign allies and donors play a significant role in this process as well. The keystone to further integration of Ukraine into the European cyberspace lays in exchange of best practices, experiences, and opportunities,” – noted Mykhailo Verych, Senior Operations Manager, CRDF Global, in his opening remarks.
The peculiarities and perspectives of Ukrainian cyberpath towards eurospace were presented in detail by the speakers of the five leading national and foreign institutions: National Cyber Security Coordination Center of Ukraine (NCSCC), the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MoFA), Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).
“The National Cybersecurity Cluster was created as a platform for communication and coordination of the key cybersecurity entities in Ukraine with our foreign partners. We’ve come a long way, considering current issues from cyber defense and cyber security to issues of cyber defense, cyber diplomacy and engagement with the private sector. And I am glad that today we are already discussing the development of the stability of our state in cyberspace,” – emphasized Serhii Prokopenko, Head of the NCSCC Support Department.
Legal aspects as well as public-private partnership importance in the harmonization process through the prism of Polish experience and “Triple Helix Approach” were presented by the representative of the Polish Cybersecurity Cluster #CyberMadeInPoland.
In the end, an expert from the research firm Info Sapience presented the findings of the nationwide midterm research on awareness of key aspects of cybersecurity, which compared pre-war measurements with measurements taken in February-March of the current year.
The session was summed up by the Q&A session. The participants discussed a question about the need to develop a roadmap for the regions of the National Cybersecurity Cluster, and the importance of conducting regular sessions in different regions to exchange information and best practices, as they have more problems, but fewer resources compared to the Kyiv region.
Mykhailo Verych, Senior Operations Manager at CRDF Global, responded by stating that the team have been actively traveling and have had several Cluster’s sessions in regions conducted last year. Besides that, due to the CRDF Global’s efforts were organized multiple courses on cybersecurity, workshops and meetings in different regions, as well as all-Ukrainian OSINT course, which had an overwhelming response about 2,000 people all over Ukraine.
“We are receiving a lot of requests, and we see that there are very active regions, so we are planning to have at least two meetings at the regional level soon. Also, we want to scale up the cluster sessions, and in addition to the regular open presentations part conduct small internal TTX sessions and do so at the regional level as well. We are ready to introduce any amendments if there will be requests for more technical or narrow specialized sessions formats.” – concluded Mykhailo Verych, Senior Operations Manager at CRDF Global, at the end of the session.
The National Cybersecurity Cluster is a joint coordination effort of the NCSCC 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 the cyber community in Ukraine.