Monday, May 13, 2019: Atlantic Council of the United States held its second Annual Kharkiv Security Conference focused on «Strengthening Ukraine’s Cyber Defenses» with support from Ukraine’s largest private gas producer Burisma Group.
The event brought together politicians, diplomats, large business owners and recognized media experts to discuss measures required to help Ukraine withstand potential and existing cyber threats inside and outside the country, as well as improve cyber security programs already in place. Among speakers were President of Poland (1995-2005) Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center Ambassador John E. Herbst, Cyber Analyst and Senior Scientist at Scowcroft Strategic and Security Center Kenneth Geers, Researcher at the Brookings Institution Dr. Alina Polyakova, Secretary General of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation and Director of Aleksander Kwaśniewski Foundation “Amicus Europae” Ireneusz Bil.
“We need to have mechanisms in place designed to counter cyber attacks in Europe”, noted Aleksander Kwasniewski.
In a time of rapid technological development, adequate security measures are a prerequisite for democracy and open civil discourse. Thus, it is essential to identify and fight back cyber attacks in a timely manner.
According to Dr. Alina Polyakova, cyberwar is no longer the future, but a reality we need to deal with today at a state level.
“We should predict risks and consequences of such attacks both from the axes of states and from private individuals,” said Dr. Polyakova.
The conference was also attended by Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (1999-2002) and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002-2004) Joseph Cofer Black, who is a recognized expert on cyber and national security.
According to him, gas remains among Ukraine’s key strategic resources. With that in mind, safe and stable gas production is crucial for the economy and population.
Associate professor at Cybersecurity faculty of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs Major Oleksii Rvachov delivered closing remarks.
After the conference Atlantic Council’s delegation and foreign guests visited Burisma’s gas fields located in Kharkiv region. During this visit, Mr Black noted that latest US drilling equipment gives the Group much more control over its operations, while allowing it to keep up with ever growing demand.
«Today, Kharkiv region accounts for more than 40% of domestic natural gas production. Burisma Group plays a vital part in helping the region grow. Last year alone, the Group transferred UAH 1.35 billion in tax payments to state budget, including UAH 71 million to local budgets. We have been continuously working to support the region economically. Now, we are happy to contribute to strengthening cyber security in the region as well», stressed Advisor to the Board of Directors at Burisma Group Vadym Pozharskyi.
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