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Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

Cybersecurity is a theme that requires immediate attention. Societies and nation states are moving towards a level of digital dependence in which trust plays a critical role. Without this core element, we are enabling the continued emergence of a dark world of unrestrained cyber threats and attacks that threaten to subvert the current success of our digital economies.

As an all-encompassing discipline, cybersecurity calls for the active participation of a multi-stakeholder society. Academia, governments, commercial entities, international organizations, and citizens all have a role to play in securing the digital future. The idea that cybersecurity is the remit of the technology professional is unacceptable. We are living in an era where cybersecurity is everybody’s business. Comprehensive security needs to include elements of pre-emptive, defensive, responsive, and offensive measures. But it is not just about technology – many of these elements require training and education, information governance, regulation, strategies, policies, awareness raising, information sharing and cooperation, among many other efforts.

With the advent of machine-to-machine communications, big data, smart cities and connected people, it would be a costly oversight to underestimate the importance that cybersecurity will play for driving next-generation technologies. To be able to take full advantage of the opportunities for economic development offered by information and communication technologies, trust has to be a key element of that technological evolution.

Nation states, educational institutions, and private sector players have a crucial part to play in enabling the implementation of cybersecurity capabilities. The biggest hurdle to overcome is setting down a viable strategy that can fulfil this purpose. This means understanding the vulnerabilities and designing achievable objectives that can be successfully applied in the short and long term. Benchmarking can help to align policies against a desirable goal, and provide participants a useful starting point for building cybersecurity capabilities.

For this reason the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) aims to provide guidance on the levels of national cybersecurity development in order to enable countries to drive forward their own domestic strategies. The GCI aims to take a broad look at cybersecurity, with five main elements underpinning the framework: legal measures, technical measures, organizational measures, capacity building, and cooperation. The ultimate goal is to help foster a global culture of cybersecurity and its integration at the core of information and communication technologies, and these five pillars serve as the baseline against which such a culture can be achieved.

For more information about the Global Cybersecurity Index, visit us at the Cybersecurity Pavilion at ITU Telecom World 2013 – or join us for the debate on  Building Cybersecurity Capabilities in the Developing World, on the showfloor at ITU Telecom World 2013 on Tuesday 19 November.

 

Michela Menting, Senior Analyst, ABI Research