Enhancing cybersecurity in Ukraine

  • 29 Oct. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 29 Oct. 2018 10:15

News headlines are replete with references to commercial hacks, data breaches, electronic fraud, the disruption of government service or critical infrastructure, intellectual property theft, exfiltration of national security secrets, and the potential of cyber destruction. These attacks affect citizens in many countries and cause enormous economic costs.

Domains once simply considered as electronic warfare, or information warfare dominated by network security experts, are today transforming into a much broader domain, referred to as “cybersecurity”. Since the measures taken to secure something must be proportionate to the value of what is being secured, there are various levels of security depending on measures of value and risk. Securing cyberspace, therefore, entails a number of considerations to mitigate risks and threats while encouraging accessibility and openness across various types of interconnected networks and devices. Establishing the necessary balance between access, usability and security is the core challenge.

The rapid and unrelenting pace of changes and challenges in cybersecurity and NATO’s increased emphasis on improving cybersecurity awareness, preparedness and resilience are the driving forces to develop new courses on cybersecurity. As part of the NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme for Ukraine, experts from allied countries visited the Serhiy Korolylov Zhytomyr Military Institute (ZMI) from 24 to 28 September, 2018 to assist with the development of a new course on cybersecurity. Ukraine is one of the first NATO partners (together with Tunisia) to develop such a course.

The experts provided working examples of cybersecurity education in a military institute context (Canadian, Polish and Irish military academies), facilitated through the adaptation of the Generic Reference Curriculum on Cybersecurity. They also demonstrated a step-by-step process to develop a customized course for a specific national context. This included a walkthrough of syllabus development, and a presentation of detailed lesson plans and laboratory exercises. The exercise involved cyber operations, both defensive and offensive, in support of an overarching military mission scenario. Participants appreciated the chance to familiarise themselves with the different tools and practices under the guidance of the instructors and to take part in a group activity, rather than following courses online.

The Reference Curriculum on Cybersecurity developed by DEEP and the PfP Consortium serves as the academic basis for this course.

Colonel Ihor Sashchuk, Deputy Chief of Academic Research Work of ZMI, awarded certificates to the participants.

The "Cybersecurity Awareness Micro Course - 10 Principles of Cybersecurity" is now available in Ukrainian on the NATO DEEP portal  and will also soon be available in English.

DEEPs are tailored programmes through which the Alliance advises partners on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain. Projects are currently running in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, Tunisia and Ukraine.

1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.