Ukrainian and International Cybersecurity Experts Convene in Kyiv
On December 4, 2018, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Ukraine (IFES) hosted a conference on Cybersecurity and Elections in Ukraine, jointly organized by IFES Ukraine and the European Union (EU). Over 100 international and Ukrainian experts and practitioners came together to share international experience and good practice on cybersecurity in light of the significant threat facing Ukraine’s elections.
“Safeguarding electoral infrastructure from cyberattacks is a challenge affecting all election management bodies,” said Central Election Commission (CEC) Chair Tetiana Slipachuk. “There are too few opportunities to promote the exchange of best practices in this quickly changing field, especially with such distinguished guests and foreign partners. Coordination with organizations like IFES, and events like this one are vital to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the electoral system of Ukraine.”
Topics covered at the conference included protecting IT infrastructure, safeguarding voter registries and results management systems, responding to attacks to the electoral process and balancing cybersecurity with the need for transparency in elections. Panels were structured to facilitation discussion and international sharing.
“We in the United States are well aware of the vulnerabilities Ukraine faces, as cybersecurity has become a major focus of the U.S. Administration over the past year,” said Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Pamela Tremont, in her opening remarks. “Today’s conference will highlight international best practice and how it can be applied here in Ukraine to strengthen cybersecurity.”
Speaking on behalf of the EU, Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine, Gert Antsu, added, “As this conference has demonstrated, international cooperation and sharing is critical to the ongoing fight against cyber threats in elections. The EU is committed to supporting Ukraine in this area.”
IFES works closely with election management bodies around the world to protect election processes and systems from cyber attacks. In Ukraine, through the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK aid, IFES partners with the CEC on cybersecurity as a key pillar of IFES’ broader efforts to support democratic progress.
This event was organized with the support of the EU, USAID and UK aid.