Dialogue on the use of Cybersecurity Vouchers to Stimulate the Cybersecurity Market in Ukraine: Third Cybersecurity Dialogue Discussion

On March 29, 2023, the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity, in partnership with Aspen Institute Kyiv, held the third Cybersecurity Dialogue Program event on the topic “Dialogue on the use of Cybersecurity Vouchers to Stimulate the Cybersecurity Market in Ukraine.” This event aimed to present the concept of the Cybersecurity Vouchers Program to stakeholders and gather feedback on the proposed structure.

The Dialogue brought together representatives of small and medium-sized businesses and cybersecurity service providers.

During the Dialogue, the concept of the Cybersecurity Voucher Program was presented. This Program aims to build the potential of small and medium-sized businesses as consumers of cyber services (and technologies) and stimulate the development of providers of these services. In particular, the experts presented a list of cybersecurity services that participants of the Program can receive through vouchers. The speakers also emphasized that the model provides partial coverage of small and medium-sized businesses’ investments in their cybersecurity.

Iryna Khomenko, Deputy Chief of Party, USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine, emphasized the importance of new business relationships to enhance the overall cyber resilience of the country.

“The threats in cyberspace are not as obvious and tangible as physical threats, but just as real. We hope that our Program will give an impetus in developing the cybersecurity market in Ukraine,” noted Iryna Khomenko.

In his welcome speech, George Dubynskyi, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, thanked the Project for its initiative to implement voucher programs and emphasized the importance of stimulating the consumption of cybersecurity services by small and medium-sized businesses to ensure their cyber resilience. 

“Cybersecurity vouchers are not an expense, but an investment. The value of personal data is much higher than the resource that will be used to enhance cybersecurity in advance. Improving the cyber resilience of SME representatives contributes to its development in the country as a whole. The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine will do its utmost to support the development of this Program,” emphasized George Dubynskyi.

Denis Poltavets, Director of Program Development at Aspen Institute Kyiv, emphasized the importance of the “Cybersecurity Dialogue Program” for deepening the knowledge of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses. “We must continue to work on increasing people’s awareness of cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity Dialogue Program will help better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with the digital space,” believes Denis Poltavets.

Representatives of SMEs emphasized their desire to have the ability to choose a cybersecurity service provider from a pool of accredited companies with at least three options. They also raised concerns regarding the quality of services and taxation when using vouchers.

Service providers expressed their desire for transparent terms and competition within the platform and the ability for consumers to provide feedback on the platform.

The program was presented by Dmytro Lazuchenkov, Director, Technology Risk Consulting Leader, E&Y Ukraine, and the Dialogue was moderated by Oleksandr Smychnikov, Business Consulting Director, 10Guards LLC.

Discussions on the Voucher Program concept within the Cybersecurity Dialogue contribute to raising awareness among business representatives about cybersecurity services. By increasing knowledge levels on cybersecurity, SME representatives will be able to protect their data from cyber threats more effectively, making large-scale cyber attacks more difficult.

During 2022–2024, 10 stakeholders dialogues and 5 seminars will be held to discuss and find better solutions in the Сybersecurity field to build and improve Ukraine’s cyber resilience. 

The Cybersecurity Dialogue Program was made possible through support provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development under a grant provided by the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity.