In the framework of the European programme to support eGovernment and the Digital Economy in Ukraine, training has been carried out to deal with cyber-attacks
EU4DigitalUA and the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) organised a cybersecurity exercise “CIREX.CYBER.Ransomware” to improve the preparedness and responsiveness of Ukrainian cities to ransomware attacks, a kind of malware that limits access to parts or files of the infected operating system and demands a ransom in exchange for removing the restriction. The event took place in Lviv and was attended by representatives of several cities and governmental entities.
The main objective of the cybersecurity exercise was to simulate and evaluate the response strategies of Ukrainian cities to ransomware attacks. The event aimed to improve coordination and cooperation between stakeholders responsible for information protection, digital development and cybersecurity, enabling them to effectively mitigate and respond to cyber threats.
Representatives of the cities and local administrations of Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vinnytsia participated in the exercise. The exercise brought together a wide range of professionals, including 12 representatives responsible for information protection in cities, 8 participants from oblast administrations responsible for digital development or information protection, 16 representatives from regional SSSCIP administrations and 6 representatives from the SSSCIP central office.
One of the highlights of the exercise was the presentation of the general cybersecurity guidelines developed by the European project EU4DigitalUA in cooperation with the SSSCIP. These recommendations provided valuable ideas for developing cybersecurity strategies, plans and policy documents for cities, communities and local self-government bodies in Ukraine.
María Gastón Betrán, FIIAPP Technical Institutional Coordinator of the EU4DigitalUA project, said: “The EU4DigitalUA project is working to enable Ukrainian government entities to benefit from the experience of international experts and organisations in strengthening the cybersecurity system. These events and the guidelines developed can serve as a starting point for more detailed cybersecurity strategies and plans at the local level. War is fought in the information and cyberspace space, so the cybersecurity of Ukrainian information and communication systems requires even greater attention at all levels.”
The collaborative efforts between the SSSCIP, the EU4DigitalUA project and the participating cities are a crucial step towards strengthening the cybersecurity landscape in Ukraine. By conducting exercises and sharing best practices, these initiatives aim to build a robust defence system against cyber threats, ultimately safeguarding critical infrastructure, data and citizens’ trust.
“The enemy is constantly looking for weaknesses in our cybersecurity system. And local administrations are among the main targets of Russian hackers. That is why it is more important than ever to be able to respond effectively and quickly to cyber threats at all levels: not only nationally, but also regionally and locally. This training is one of the important steps in strengthening our cyber resilience,” said Vice-President of the State Service for Special Communications Oleksandr Potii.