Ukraine Cooperates Closer with NATO on Cyber Defense
Wednesday, 6 July 2022
The Alliance pledged to strengthen Ukraine's cyber defense against Russia's relentless attacks at the NATO summit in Madrid.
Ukraine is already demonstrating considerable success with NATO's support. Since the beginning of the war, none of the numerous hacker attacks have had a critical impact on the Ukrainian infrastructure.
In 2014, NATO members recognized cyber defense as part of NATO's core task of collective defense, which means that a cyber attack could be grounds to invoke Article 5 of NATO's founding treaty.
Subsequently, in 2016, the Allies recognized cyberspace as a domain of military operations. They further pledged to enhance the cyber defenses of their national networks and infrastructure as a priority.
The new Strategic Concept of NATO-2030, approved on June 29 at the Madrid summit, underlines cyber security as essential to coherent Alliance deterrence and defense.
One of the Alliance's key institutions in cyber defense is the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (NATO CCD COE), located in Tallinn.
This center is an accredited cyber defense hub dedicated to supporting our member nations and NATO with unique interdisciplinary expertise in cyber defense research, training, and exercises covering technology, strategy, operations, and law focus areas.
The Cyber Defense Center annually organizes the world's largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defense exercise, Locked Shields.
Last August, Ukraine approved a new version of the Cyber Security Strategy, an important element of which is integration with the NATO cyber defense system.
The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and Ukraine signed a renewed Memorandum of Agreement on January 17, 2022, to continue their work together on technology-related projects.
The memorandum deepens NATO's collaboration with Ukraine to support it in modernizing its information technology and communications services while identifying areas where training may be required for personnel. It also includes training, workshops, and subject matter expertise to support Ukraine in modernizing its defense capabilities.
Among other key projects is transferring equipment for secure communication to Ukraine, which has began in December 2018.
A significant component of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO has become the annual National Hackathon on Cyber Defense. NATO TIDE Hackathon takes place twice a year. The ideas emerging from the hackathons get mature, then tested and validated during annual NATO multinational exercises.
At this year's Madrid Summit, the Alliance updated NATO's Comprehensive Assistance Package to Ukraine; an important element is the Cyber Security Trust Fund.
In the future, in the field of cyber security, NATO will pay attention to building Ukraine's capabilities, providing the necessary equipment and training personnel, as a result of which Ukraine should acquire the ability to protect its infrastructure from modern cyber attacks.
Ukraine is also expected to soon join NATO's Joint Advanced Technologies Center for Cyber Defense as a permanent member.
Despite Hungary's veto in early 2022, on March 4, 2022, Ukraine's application was unanimously supported by all members of the organization's Steering Committee.
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