Ukraine Signs Cyber Security Deal With NATO

Ukraine is coming closer to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in the cyber security field as its war with Russia has been going on for almost a year. Now, Ukraine is signing an agreement with NATO to formalise its participation in the security alliance's joint Center for Advanced Technologies in Cyber Defense (CCDCOE).  

The agreement comes after a series of cyber attack incidents in Ukraine and heightened tensions over Russia’s invasion. The new cyber security collaboration allows Ukrainian access to NATO’s malware information sharing platform along with enhanced cyber cooperation. 

According to a statement by NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, cyber security experts from NATO will be working together with Ukraine to confront the rising cyber threats in the region. 

The CCDCOE functions as a cyber-defense knowledge center, research institution, and training and exercise facility that assists members with technology, threat-sharing and policy expertise. CCDCOE membership is not limited to NATO nations. “We have successfully worked with Ukraine for several years, delivering key capabilities and exchanging knowledge,” said NATO Communications & Information Agency  (NCI) Agency General Manager Ludwig Decamps. “Under this renewed agreement, we will deepen our collaboration with Ukraine to support them in modernising their information technology and communications services, while identifying areas where training may be required for their personnel. Our experts stand ready to continue this critical partnership.” 

Relations between NATO and Ukraine date back to the early 1990s. Cooperation has deepened over time and is mutually beneficial, with Ukraine actively contributing to NATO-led operations and missions.

“Ukraine’s presence in the Centre will enhance the exchange of cyber expertise, between Ukraine and CCDCOE member nations. Ukraine could bring valuable first-hand knowledge of several adversaries within the cyber domain to be used for research, exercises and training,” commented General Jaak Tarien, the now retired Director of the CCDCOE.

Ukraine has been trying to become a member of the CCDCOE for a while, but only made some progress after Russia’s full-scale invasion. Last spring Ukraine was granted the formal role of “contributing participant.” Ukraine submitted its application to join the Estonia-based center in August 2021. Last April, the 27 sponsoring nations in the steering committee agreed Ukraine as a contributing participant in the CCDCOE, thus giving the other member state's access to Ukraine's "valuable first-hand knowledge of several adversaries".

That language was a reference to both the cyber warfare tactics Russia employed ahead of and during its illegal invasion of Ukraine, and Moscow's earlier attacks against Ukraine's power grids and other digital targets.Work with Ukraine also includes a Knowledge Sharing Initiative where subject matter experts share their knowledge of NATO practices in developing capabilities in the Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) domain.

The Knowledge Sharing Initiative includes training, workshops and subject matter expertise to support Ukraine in modernising its defence capabilities.

The CCDCOE was established in 2008 in response to Russian aggression in cyberspace against NATO member states and is one of NATO's key cyber defence structures dealing with cyber security issues. It includes 25 NATO member states and 4 partner countries.

NATO CCDCOE:     NATO:   The Register:    CyberWire:    The Record:    CISO Mag:    mind

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