Ever since the start of the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s digital infrastructure has faced an unpreceded number of malicious web attacks. Amid the relentless wave of those attacks targeting government agencies and critical infrastructure organizations, Hideez launched a partnership with Yubico, a global authentication leader from Sweden, to help Ukrainian entities secure their digital environment with hardware security keys.
So far, Yubico has donated 20,000 YubiKeys with a retail value of $1 million to government structures and state-owned companies in Ukraine. The devices are being distributed among most of the significant institutions, including the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP), .UA domain managing organization Hostmaster.UA, intelligence services, and government-owned energy companies.
In order to get security keys into the hands of employees, the SSSCIP sped up what is normally a six-month certification process for the introduction of new government-wide cyber tools to just a few weeks.
What are the main challenges faced by Ukraine’s organizations amid war?
The start of full-scale hostilities came as a surprise to Ukraine and the entire world community. Many government agencies turned out to be ill-prepared for external attacks in the digital space, as they were forced to focus their efforts on maintaining normal functioning and ensuring the physical safety of employees as a main priority. A lot of staff members left their homes and dispersed among different regions and countries. Most of them keep on performing their duties remotely.
The issue of digital security of government agencies and critical infrastructure organizations became more acute than ever before since the hostilities made it difficult to retain control of the security policies compliance, while the number of potential risks increased many times over compared to peaceful times. The Ukrainian authorities needed a solution to help them secure endpoints and make unauthorized access to user accounts and internal networks difficult, if not impossible.
Since the beginning of March 2022, Hideez has been providing Ukrainian organizations with free licenses to use the Hideez authentication service and supplying them with Yubico’s hardware authentication devices for free. Yubico has already donated 10,000 security keys and plans to donate 10,000 more, while Hideez shouldered the logistical processes, technical implementation, communication, and customer support.
What does Hideez do to speed up the implementation of new security solutions?
Implementing new technologies takes time and effort. The process of restructuring existing business processes places an additional burden on management and employees who are already overwhelmed by the challenges of wartime. They are typically not ready to spend extra time taking advanced security courses and building their own cybersecurity systems from scratch.
Fortunately, modern cloud authentication services represent a more or less simple and reliable way to address the above-mentioned issues. Hideez authentication and access management solution is based on FIDO2, an open authentication standard that enables users to use their biometrics or external security keys instead of passwords to access any website or application.
It is worth mentioning that in May 2022, global IT giants Apple, Microsoft, and Google, expanded support for FIDO to accelerate the transition to a single standard of passwordless authentication by the end of 2023.
(Yuriy Akkerman, VP of War Efforts of Hideez) “We did a great job to adjust the Yubico’s products to Ukrainian realities. First of all, it was necessary to create the most simple and understandable user manuals for Ukrainian users. We tried to cover every possible use case and authentication scenario in an environment with Ukrainian infrastructure: explain what security keys are and why they are needed, how to use them, how to set up backup login options, and what one can do if the key is lost, etc. Our team is fully engaged in educational work, we conduct free training for staff and help them create new security policies, taking into account the use of hardware security keys.”
(Oleg Naumenko, CEO of Hideez) The implementation of security keys simplifies and automates a lot of manual processes, but implementing them during wartime is a huge challenge. We go through this challenge together with our partners, our Ukrainian clients, and our faith in the future. It wasn't easy to have the keys shipped to end-users as many of them are spread out all over Ukraine. But I have no doubt that from now on YubiKeys will help leadership teams keep their organizations running smoothly, even at a distance. "
(Oleg Levchenko, CEO "Hostmaster") “We thank Hideez and Yubico for the opportunity to help protect our resources. Yubikeys will allow us to secure our infrastructure against the unauthorized access and installation of third-party systems."
About Hideez and its activities
Hideez is a US company of Ukrainian origin. Founded in 2017, the company offers passwordless authentication solutions for various industries with a view to protecting them against unauthorized access, and complying with modern security standards such as NIST 800.63b, FIPS 140-2, etc. Hideez aims to free workers from the burden of passwords and the weaknesses of password-based authentication.
Our team keeps on building international partnerships to deploy digital security solutions in Ukraine. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.