The fifth meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Committee took place in Brussels today to discuss political, economic and sectoral cooperation.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine was represented in the event by Deputy Minister for Public Services Development Liudmila Rabchynska. In her report, she paid special attention to the issue of cybersecurity, as since September this year the Ministry of Digital Transformation has been responsible for cryptographic and technical protection of information - and this issue is quite urgent for Ukraine.
“For years, our country has been involved in a constant hybrid, asymmetric and cybernetic warfare, in which our neighboring aggressor regularly attacks Ukraine's critical infrastructure. Communal sectors, including energy, dams, water supply and sewerage systems, are a particular target for their cyber aggression,” Liudmila Rabchynska said in her speech.
As an example, she mentioned the attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities that had begun in 2014. According to the Deputy Minister, these attacks, in parallel with other recent attacks, present new complex challenges that require Ukraine to respond quickly, deploy effective countermeasures and create new means of protection against future attacks.
Despite the political will to counter these attacks, Ukraine faces critical cybersecurity problems, such as:
the lack of a cybersecurity maturity model in all industries;
shortage of highly qualified cybersecurity professionals;
limited funding and resources to address structural issues.
In view of all these challenges, it is an urgent need for Ukraine in the near future to ensure the following:
eliminating vulnerabilities in the utility sector;
strengthening our legislative and regulatory frameworks to enable more efficient sharing of experience and important information in the public, private and educational sectors;
creating a secure and reliable platform for sharing relevant information and ensuring the continuous implementation of innovative cyber technologies, services and solutions;
educating professionals and unleash the potential of talented high-level cybersecurity professionals-leaders in need for both the Government and the private sector;
finding and supporting Ukrainian cybersecurity entrepreneurs.
Implementation of the aforementioned measures will allow Ukraine to become more resilient to cyberattacks and to protect more securely critical infrastructure as well as recover quickly after cyberattacks.
Liudmila Rabchinska believes that Ukraine's unique valuable experience in counteracting highly sophisticated and targeted attacks should be used to create innovations in cybersecurity sector. Therefore, that will make Ukraine a reliable source of solutions, services and talents in a fast-growing cybersecurity industry. An example, in this case, is Estonia, for which cybersecurity has long been the cornerstone of a successful digital transformation.
"That is why we are very grateful to the European Union for supporting Ukraine in the field of cybersecurity and for launching a new project "EU Support for e-Governance and the Digital Economy in Ukraine", which will be implemented in the near future," Liudmila Rabchynska emphasizes.
The Ukrainian side also intends to establish a regular bilateral dialogue between Ukraine and the EU in the field of cybersecurity.