Like many of you, we have been closely watching the developing crisis in Ukraine with deep sadness for those whose lives and livelihood have been impacted. At NightDragon, our thoughts and prayers are with those who continue to be affected by this crisis, both locally and abroad.
For that reason, we hosted a special edition of NightVision on May 5 to share the stories of those who experienced the crisis first-hand, including individuals who were on the ground when the invasion began and those who have assisted in subsequent relief efforts. Their stories were a view into the incredible bravery and kindness of the human spirit, even amidst extreme tragedy and devastation.
Iryna Shevel, Director of Engineering at the Kyiv Development Center for SafeGuard Cyber, and Tanya Tokarieva, Project Manager for the Kyiv Development Center for SafeGuard Cyber, spoke with NightDragon’s Dave DeWalt about their experiences when the invasion first began in Ukraine, including how they rushed to ensure their family’s safety as well as the safety of the 240 engineers and other employees that they oversee.
Leadership from across the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy (CSSP) industry also joined to share how they personally have been getting involved with humanitarian and national security topics. State of California CISO Vitaliy Panych, HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini, SafeGuard Cyber President and CTO Otavio Freire and SafeGuard Cyber SVP, Engineering, Professional Services and Cloud Services Jim Ting shared how they have supported the housing of refugees in their local communities, delivered toys to children on the Ukrainian border with Poland and ensuring the safety of their teams in the region.
In addition to the humanitarian aspects, the panel also discussed the evolving impacts the Ukraine crisis is having on our broader cybersecurity and national security landscape. Cyberattacks on Ukraine have increased 10x since the invasion began, with data wipers hitting hundreds of computers, DDoS attacks hitting the country “non-stop,” and further attacks attempting to take down the Ukrainian power grid. In addition, successful attacks on satellite infrastructure have caused service outages across the region and the crisis overall has caused broad supply chain impacts globally, with more than 450 firms in the U.S. and 200 in Europe relying on tier-1 suppliers in Ukraine.
A full recording of their conversation can be found above.
For those looking to support the Ukrainian relief efforts, our panelists recommended the following:
- Get involved with local community efforts – Vitaliy Panych said he has personally gotten involved with his local religious organization to facilitate monetary support, as well as help refugee families find housing and get acclimated to the area.
- Hire Ukrainian engineers – Ukraine has an incredible engineering community that could be an incredible resource for companies looking to expand their technical talent, said Iryna Shevel. “We have incredible people in Ukraine…. If you have a chance to start your collaboration with Ukrainian software engineers, it’s going to be a great opportunity for them and to help the Ukrainian economy,” she said.
- Stay engaged – Tanya Tokarieva urged those in the audience to stay engaged and continue supporting Ukraine throughout this crisis and as they look to rebuild. “I would like to ask everyone to do not forget about us. Talk about us and support us as much as you can,” she said. “In my life right now, I have one very important dream: that no one in the world will have to experience this.”
For those looking for other options, here are some other charities to consider to further support Ukrainian refugees and humanitarian response efforts:
- Médecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
- Voices of Children
- Sunflower of Peace
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- Save the Children
- UN Refugee Agency
- International Medical Corps