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30 July 2022

Before the war, Ukraine was quite a training field for the most powerful cyberattacks, almost 20% of all global cybercrimes committed were against our country (according to the American company Jigsaw, an Alphabet startup). Infrastructure facilities are especially attractive targets for criminals, so the development of cyber security and digitalization of Boryspil Airport has always been one of the top priorities, yet the war has also accelerated these processes.

How Boryspil Airport currently protects and enhances its digital borders, moves towards further digitization, and improves its technical capabilities, shared Ihor Vetokh, The Head of the IT Service of Boryspil International Airport.


– The first days of the war are the most petrifying. At the same time, this is a durability test of the Airport information infrastructure protection system. How did the IT team cope with the test?


Our main task is to ensure the continuous operation of IT services and cyber security against any threats. From the first minutes of the war and after the airspace closure, Director General Oleksiy Dubrevskyy ordered to act according to the developed program in the event of a code “red” threat level. At the same time, were established the anti-crisis headquarters under his direct leadership.

The headquarters coordinated and adjusted the joint actions of all departments of the Enterprise. In our case, we had to evacuate the most critical servers to a safe place and quickly put them into operation as fast as possible. The first step was to arrange the outside data processing center for the most important services: corporate mail, document management system, financial accounting system, file server, and other automated airport systems. If we failed to do this first, it would lead to a complete loss of data, important information, documents, archives, and most importantly – the automated system of enterprise management and financial accounting. In this case, the Enterprise would simply cease to exist.


– What would be the consequences if you failed to save the IT infrastructure?


The Airport is an important object in the critical infrastructure of our country. Therefore, its IT infrastructure is very complex. Before the war, Boryspil International Airport was at a fairly high level in terms of automation and computerization. The Airport hosted a variety of advanced automation systems for baggage handling, check-in, parking, and systems required to ensure the operation of the Airport. Thus, the Airport constantly provides round-the-clock monitoring and technical support, analysis and transmission of telemetric information about events related to information security, which is recorded by cyber protection facilities and can negatively affect their sustainable functioning. Our team is in contact and cooperation with state cyber protection centers, and we work 24/7 to prevent risks and vulnerabilities that can be dangerous.

Our actions to conserve the IT infrastructure helped preserve the data and services, which are vital for future Airport operation. Taking into account that many employees were relocated within the first days of the war, we ensured the functionality of remote workplaces, so now we continue to support their functionality with all the listed services. During the war, we had to solve many unusual tasks. In general, we managed to create reliable conditions for the Enterprise to continue its operation, ensure its accounting, ability to pay salaries to the employees, for utilities, electricity, gas, water, etc.


– How did this challenging period effect the Airport IT team?


The IT Service had significant changes and adequately passed the test, the scale of which is difficult to imagine – the war. However, it was precisely under such extreme conditions that a reliable and effective team was forged – a friendly and cohesive group that unites people ready to work in a round-the-clock mode.

Power supply restrictions, interruptions in the work of local Internet providers, air raid alarms – under such conditions today our specialists work to preserve the Airport as a critically important strategic infrastructure facility.


– Despite such a difficult situation for the country and the company, what are the IT plans of Boryspil International Airport?


An information technology strategy is always a one-step-forward approach and a reflection of the global business strategy, so we are confident in our future and bear some bold plans. The IT Service specialists have carefully monitored the needs of our passengers and studied the best global experience. Currently, we actively work on the implementation of fundamentally new, high-quality projects. Thus, after Ukraine is victorious, all this will be a pleasant gift to our passengers and our joint IT victory.