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CRDF Global Selected as Platform for CDAC for Ukraine; Mike Dignam Quoted

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CRDF Global has been selected as the platform for the Cyber Defense Assistance Collaborative for Ukraine.

As the collaborative’s platform, CRDF will help numerous organizations provide accelerated defense aid to Ukraine in the wake of expanded invasions and increasingly intense cyber attacks against the nation, the Arlington, Virginia-based organization announced on Monday.

“By providing the platform for CDAC, we are now able to help companies bring operational cyber defense assistance to Ukraine in an accelerated fashion.  I couldn’t be happier to support this effort and further expand CRDF Global’s capabilities in the cyber security realm,” said Mike Dignam, CEO of CRDF Global.

The organization, which was formed to support the United States in reducing threats after the Soviet Union’s collapse, has a long history of operating in the region. More recent operations include running hackathons, establishing cyber curriculums for universities and providing cybersecurity training for veterans of the 2014 conflict in Ukraine. Additionally, the nonprofit holds a regular meeting with over 100 stakeholders for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

Craig Newmark Philanthropies, which wanted a nonprofit to provide the platform, provided much of the funding required for CRDF to move to its new position.

Greg Rattray, a former National Security Council director, retired Air Force Colonel and expert on cybersecurity and Ukraine, stressed the urgency of the situation and the need to mobilize quickly.

“With the invasion, the Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure operators urgently needed to deal with immediate threats posed by cyber attacks,” Rattray emphasized.

The expert additionally discussed the lack of foreign support within current U.S. cybersecurity networks and the growing number of requests from Ukraine that must be met. He also stated that strengthening the relationship between the public and private sectors surrounding defense efforts is a current priority for the U.S.

Rattray began collaborating with CRDF in developing Ukraine’s cybersecurity strategy prior to this selection alongside Matthew Murray, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and fellow expert on Ukraine and cybersecurity.

As a result of conversations with U.S. government officials that highlighted the critical need to mobilize the private sector, Rattray developed a network of organizations to support the nation under the Cyber Defense Assistance Collaborative rubric. Those involved include Avast, the Cyber Threat Alliance, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, Mandiate, Next Peak, Palo Alto Networks, Recorded Future, Symantec and Broadcom, ThreatQuotient and numerous others.

To increase delivery speeds, Murray worked with Ukraine’s National Cyber Security Coordination Center to create a pathway to accelerate the provision of cybersecurity support on a daily basis within the collaborative.

Volodomyr Pavelko, founder of Ukraine’s Global Cyber Cooperative Center, offered commentary on the results of working with CDAC.

“Ukraine needed urgent help to defend critical infrastructure. Collaborating with CDAC to meet specific demands from our government ministries and state-owned enterprises quickly became the way we could obtain that help, and we’ve already seen a significant impact in some of our most important sectors,” he said.