The EU has cemented ties with Ukraine on cybersecurity cooperation, with a new formal agreement designed to improve information sharing and capacity building.
Announced today, the agreement formalizes discussions begun in Warsaw during the EU-Ukraine Cybersecurity Dialogue last year. It was signed by EU security agency ENISA, and Ukraine’s National Cybersecurity Coordination Center (NCCC) and the Administration of the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP).
The broad-based arrangement covers “short-term structured cooperation actions,” but also has a focus on longer term policy alignment, ENISA said. It covers three areas:
- Cyber awareness and capacity building to boost resilience. This could include Ukrainian participation in EU-wide cybersecurity exercises and training sessions, possible secondment arrangements, and sharing and promotion of cyber-awareness tools and programs
- Alignment of legislation and implementation including NIS2, and a focus on critical infrastructure sectors such as telecommunications and energy
- More systematic knowledge and information sharing to enhance situational awareness
Read more on Ukraine: EU Outlines Critical Cyber Response to Ukraine War
The move comes after the European Commission last week recommended Ukraine be invited to begin membership talks with the EU, as soon as it’s able to meet a set of final conditions.
This process will likely last years but is an important step for the country given its struggle to regain ground from Russia in a much-hyped counter offensive.
Commission vice president for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, argued that support for Ukraine will also help the EU improve resilience to Russian aggression in cyberspace.
“The malicious manipulation of information and cyber-attacks is a key element of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Well-known hybrid tactics are being exploited by Russia on a new massive scale, targeting not only Ukraine, but also the European Union,” he said.
“This makes today’s arrangement on enhanced cooperation for cybersecurity even more important. The arrangement is an additional essential component of our overall support to help Ukraine to defend itself against Russia, and of our long-term commitment to Ukraine’s security.”