Global Cyber Security Index 2020: Asia-Pacific Countries Ranked
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected how societies operate. As the pandemic began to take hold in April 2020, Akamai noted Internet traffic increased by 30 percent. From telecommuting to remote learning, technology has played a key role in keeping people connected. For the digital age to realize its potential, a trusted and safe cyberspace must be key. A year after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and the development of new management systems and vaccinations, our reliance on digital technologies continues to grow. And as the world connects the unconnected, safe and trustworthy cyberspace must be ensured.
There is increased recognition of cybersecurity risk. The ongoing pandemic has created distrust, especially online. The data collected in the GCI is the start of a broader conversation about cybersecurity, around which local context and observations are critical in shaping a way forward.
To help create a trusted and safe cyberspace in the aftermath of the pandemic, the Global Cybersecurity Index by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) can be a jumping point to understand how the pandemic has impacted cybersecurity efforts, and how countries are working to address cybersecurity and trust.
The Global Cybersecurity Index is assessed on five pillars—legal measures, technical measures, organizational measures, capacity development, and cooperation. For each pillar, the country's commitment was assessed through a question-based online survey that allowed for the collecting of supporting evidence.
The index ranks nations using 82 questions developed by a panel of experts. ITU members are asked to nominate a person to participate in the process, and the organisation conducts desk research on nations that choose not to play. All ITU members are then ranked on a 100-point scale.
The higher the rank, the more committed the country is to cybersecurity defense, essentially. It's a score on how secure a nation is, computer-wise, though.
The report opens with good news: the median score for the 2020 index is 9.5 percent higher than in the 2018 edition. Small nations also did well, and there were some big improvers.
Globally, the United States topped the chart scoring 100 points followed by the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia with 99.54 points each. Estonia, ranked third. South Korea, Singapore, and Spain tied or fourth, while Russia, United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia shared fifth, followed by Lithuania, Japan, Canada, France, and India.
Another positive finding from the Index is that the number of governments that formed a national computer incident response team (CIRT) rose by 11 per cent since 2018, meaning around half of ITU members now have a CIRT (or CERT). Sixty-four per cent have adopted a national cybersecurity strategy (NCS), up from 58 per cent, and 70 per cent conducted cybersecurity awareness campaigns in 2020, up from 66 percent.
Thirty-eight nations scored 90 per cent or better.
The Index also addressed the need for individual training programs in various sectors. Despite a projected global shortage of half a million cybersecurity professionals for 2021, the report said countries weren’t developing sector-specific training. Over half do not have programmes tailored towards specific sectors or professions — like law enforcement, legal actors, SMEs, private companies, and government officials.
Source: ITU's Global Cybersecurity index 2020