Building Good Cyber-Hygiene Practices for Civil Society in Ukraine

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Participants with visual disabilities and their peers at IFES’ cyber-hygiene training in Kyiv, Ukraine

Cybersecurity remains a critical and pressing issue in Ukraine and worldwide as cyberattacks on public and private institutions become more sophisticated. Such attacks often target civil society groups, especially those that represent marginalized populations, such as LGBTQ groups, women’s organizations and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs). These communities are especially at risk of cyberattacks because the populations with whom they work are less likely to know international best practices of cybersecurity. Recognizing the importance of smart cybersecurity practices among governments and community members, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Central Election Commission of Ukraine have developed a cyber-hygiene awareness training course.

“In the 21st century, cyber hygiene is extremely important for everyone. Fight for Right members have acquired the appropriate skills and will now care more about cybersecurity.” – Training participant from Ukrainian DPO Fight for Right

On May 20, IFES conducted a cyber-hygiene training in Kyiv, Ukraine, for 16 representatives of Ukrainian civil society organizations, including organizations promoting the rights of people with disabilities, women and the LGBTQ community. The training, which was designed to raise awareness of potential risks to online security, increased participants’ knowledge of measures to protect themselves and their workplaces from cyberthreats. The training also covered risks, policies, and practical guidelines and best practices on cyber hygiene. To ensure that the training was inclusive of participants with disabilities, IFES selected an accessible venue and made large-font training materials available. IFES will continue to ensure that cyber-hygiene trainings include persons from marginalized groups who may be at risk of cyberattacks and develop content that targets specific barriers they encounter.