Supporting democratic progress in Ukraine.

IFES Ukraine

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Cybersecurity Playbook for the Elections in Ukraine

IFES has finalized the first Cybersecurity in Elections Playbook for Ukraine expanded and improved based on input from the 4th December conference.

Cybersecurity in general has received considerable attention in recent years, however, cybersecurity in the elections field had been seriously neglected at a time in which countries have started introducing technology in their election processes in earnest. This playbook draws from the emerging knowledge-base in the U.S. and in Europe, as well as IFES experience globally, in order to present good practices. It also presents the most common threats in order to raise awareness about associated risks.

This playbook is not intended to be a comprehensive technical document. Most information in the text requires only basic understanding of IT but some level of understanding of the dangers associated with disruption of election processes.

The text provides an overview of issues relevant to cybersecurity in Ukraine’s electoral system and protection of the election infrastructure in light of international good practice. The playbook applies a holistic approach developed by IFES (HEAT) to mitigate cybersecurity risks and offers both general (high-level)
as well as more detailed (technical) recommendations on short-term and long-term improvements.

This playbook is not an attempt to provide a complete overview of all problems associated with cybersecurity at the time of elections. For example, the subject of disinformation during the campaign period is not considered as it does not fall under the direct purview of most EMBs, including the CEC of Ukraine, with the exception of addressing disinformation surrounding the electoral process.

Many issues presented here are well known to the CEC’s IT experts who are also responsible for the cybersecurity of distinct systems: the State Voter Register, Results Management System and digital workload system. We hope that these experts will find this text useful as they continue their serious
efforts to safeguard the Ukrainian elections.

This playbook is a living document. For comments and corrections, please contact