Viktor Berezenko: People need to develop habits and skills to effectively counter cyber threats in the digital world

The world has entered the first-ever cyberpsychological war, in which digital technologies are used to destabilize society, cause panic, and spread disinformation. The human factor plays a crucial role, and therefore the development of cyber awareness is a priority area of work of national and international institutions.

This was stated by Viktor Berezenko, founder of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling, during a speech at the workshop «Tools and methods for developing safe thinking and habits that help mitigate or prevent hacking on the internet» within the framework of European Cyber Agora 2022.

«Cybersecurity isn’t just about machines. This is primarily about people. Cyberspace is a tool for interaction between people. Even with the latest technology, the human factor is crucial and can change everything in just one second. It is important to understand that cyberspace is not a self-sufficient environment, but only a projection of human life. It is a tool. Someone uses it for good, someone – on the contrary,» Viktor Berezenko stressed.

In 2021, Ukraine ranked second in terms of the number of cyber attacks against a particular country. During the war, their number tripled. Ukraine has already shown that it can cope with them, but the human factor remains important next to the technological one. Society faces a serious challenge because of the peculiarities of the human psyche and natural fear. Working in this direction is an integral part of working on security in the high-tech world.

«Today, the world has invisible weapons that cause no less damage than missiles. Cyber attacks are physically invisible, but they can paralyze the operation of a nuclear power plant, destroy infrastructure located on earth, air, and water, and provoke chaos and panic among millions of people. We are talking about both the state level and the personal level. The task of all state structures, international institutions, and technology giants is to unite and work together to develop the cyber awareness of society,» pointed out the expert.

Viktor Berezenko also mentioned that in practical terms, the work of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine under the leadership of Mykhailo Fedorov is an example of efficiency in this area. «The digital leadership of Minister Fedorov united the entire civilized cyber world in the struggle for Ukraine. Digital state institutions not only give a powerful rebuff to the aggressor but also defeat it. We, as part of the private sector and civil society, help with all our resources. There is no doubt that Ukraine will win,» he stressed.

A team of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling held a workshop at a conference organized by Microsoft, The Marshall Fund, and EU Cyber Direct in Brussels. The world’s leading cybersecurity experts, representatives of the state and public sectors, and private businesses from Europe attended the conference.