Half of all countries lack cybersecurity plans, says UN

Half of all countries lack cybersecurity plans, says UN

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Only about half of all countries have a cybersecurity strategy or are in the process of developing one, says the latest cybersecurity report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN's specialized agency for information and communication technology.
By Rich Pell


The latest findings were published in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 (GCI-2017), which measures the commitment of ITU’s 193 member states to cybersecurity in order to raise awareness. It found that about 38 percent of countries have a published cybersecurity strategy, while an additional 12 percent of governments are in the process of developing one.

According to the report, the top 10 most committed countries were Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France, and Canada. Russia was ranked at number 11.

The second index in this series (the first edition was launched in 2014), GCI-2017 is intended to illustrate practices in use so that member states can “identify gaps and implement selected activities suitable to their national environment,” as well as help “harmonize practices and foster a global culture of cybersecurity.”

“We are committed to making the Internet more secure, safer and trustworthy, for the benefit of all,” says Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General. “While the impact generated by cyber attacks, such as those carried out as recently as 27 June 2017, may not be eliminated completely, prevention and mitigation measures to reduce the risks posed by cyber-related threats can and should always be put in place. The GCI reaffirms ITU’s commitment to build confidence and security in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs).”

In addition to measuring member commitment to cybersecurity, the GCI also shows the status of all GCI indicators, as defined by the five “strategic pillars” of the ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA): legal, technical, organizational, capacity building, and international cooperation. According to the ITU, GCI-2017 shows that “there is space for further improvement in cooperation at all levels, capacity building, and organizational measures.”

“As the global community rapidly embraces ICTs as a key enabler for social and economic development, it is vital that cybersecurity is made an integral and indivisible part of the digital transformation,” says Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “We continue to encourage governments to consider national policies that take into account cybersecurity so that everyone can reap the benefits of the online world.”

ITU Global Cybersecurity Index 2017
Cyber-wellness profiles of individual countries

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