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Cyber Security from Ukraine to Australia

In behalf of Intecracy International Limited (IIL) Dr Oleksandr Kyselevskyi, together with his wife and business partner Natalia Golovtseva, visited Australia last month.

Dr Kyselevskyi heads an accomplished team of software engineers, with expert knowledge and a 20-year track record of solution provision in IT industry. In Sydney, Dr Kyselevskyi gave presentations and seminars on Cyber Security at Western Sydney University (WSU), University of Sydney, Strathfield Municipal Council Town Hall and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), where he delivered the Dean’s Seminar.

In Canberra, Dr Kyselevskyi was guest speaker at the Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACCS), where he was hosted by ACCS Executive Professor Greg Austin. The ACCS seminar was attended by representatives from the Australian Defence Force, UNSW researchers, members of the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Separate meetings were held with Australian Government officials in Canberra, including senior advisors to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Dr Kyselevskyi’s academic activity in Canberra was coordinated by Dr Sonia Mycak, who is the Ukrainian Studies Foundation in Australia Research Fellow in the Centre for European Studies at Australian National University. She worked closely with Professor Greg Austin, an expert in international security and cyber policy, who hosted Dr Kyselevskyi at the Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACCS), a centre of excellence for research and teaching in cyber security at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra.

Dr Kyselevskyi’s ACCS seminar, entitled “Cyber Security in Ukraine”, was held at the UNSW Canberra campus where he spoke to a highly-specialised audience of experts in the fields of information technology and international security.

Dr Kyselevskyi was introduced by Professor Austin, himself a political scientist who has been following the Ukraine-Russia conflict closely, and he highlighted several particular points of interest for the Australian audience, including: the different business environment in Ukraine; Dr Kyselevskyi’s consulting work for the Ukrainian government; and Dr Kyselevskyi’s understanding of the development of cyber security for governments in complex environments (such as that now facing Ukraine).

Dr Kyselevskyi’s presentation was an in-depth analysis of both theoretical aspects of international cyber security and the practical realities faced by Ukraine today. He began by pointing out that cyberspace in itself is not a national space, as it is shared by many countries simultaneously and yet cybersecurity is an integral part of a nation’s security, because it supports the functioning of the state and its society, economy and innovation. International relations are therefore crucial in today’s cyber world.

Dr Kyselevskyi then gave an outline of developments in Ukraine, focusing on the stages of building a national cyber security system, beginning with 1991 as the point of national independence. He reminded us that Ukraine is very sensitive to attacks on critical infrastructure due to the presence of atomic power stations (including the current situation in Chornobyl). He emphasised that, as a Ukrainian cyber security specialist, the fact that “we are in a war” is foremost in his mind. Therefore, above all, he and his colleagues need to concentrate on Ukraine’s government and independence.

This is, one of the primary aims of Intecracy International Ltd, which is actively involved in the implementation of state programs to enhance cyber security. The many Intecracy clients include the Ukrainian Army and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, State Treasury, and General Office of the Public Prosecutor. Dr Kyselevskyi’s and Ms Golovtseva’s executive roles in Intecracy, together with Dr Kyselevskyi’s academic career at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, make Intecrecy International Ltd uniquely positioned to address and combat cybercrime and cyberterrorism.

The ACCS seminar was attended by some 25 people, mostly from the Australian Defence Force Headquarters and several UNSW researchers. Also amongst those listening were members of the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Questions from the audience touched upon the efficacy of “offensive cyber protection”; the human psychology of IT usage and hacking; and financial factors in cyber attack and defence.

After the seminar, Dr Kyselevskyi and Ms Golovsteva were Professor Austin’s guests at a working lunch at the National Press Club of Australia. Joining them were an intentionally small but select group of specialists: Director-level personnel in the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet and several UNSW researchers, including one with cyber-business interests. Mr Mark Shumsky and Dr Sonia Mycak also attended, representing the Ukrainian Studies Foundation in Australia.

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