In the last decade, as we conduct more and more of our lives and processes online, digital security has become a major concern for national defense. But according to a United Nations survey released in July 2017, the whole world could do with a cyber-security upgrade.
The UN’s Global Cyber security Index looks at five defense capabilities in 134 countries. These are:
- Growth potential
The UN’s rankings of the 134 countries revealed the following:
- Singapore took the top rating for “most committed”
- The United States came in No. 2 – while the US beat Singapore on legal, organizational and growth potential factors, Singapore scored higher for cooperation
The other nations in the Top 10 with regards to cyber security commitment are:
Even though countries such as Malaysia and Oman are poorer than countries such as France and Canada, they still ranked higher for commitment to cyber security.
South Africa’s approach to protecting cyber security ranked 58th and was sixth in Africa‚ behind Mauritius‚ Rwanda‚ Kenya‚ Nigeria and Uganda. South Africa’s commitment to cyber security was ranked at a “maturity stage” because South Africa has developed complex commitments and does engage in cyber security programmes and initiatives. Steps have also been taken to draft new legislation‚ the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill‚ but there is still a way to go before this is the law.
According to the UN, the creation of a cyber security strategy is a “crucial first step” for any nation. However, the data collection revealed a frightening statistic that half of the countries that responded to the survey do not have a cyber security strategy at all; and over half also don’t have cyber security training in place for their police forces.
Other aspects of national cyber security that are lacking include:
- Well-trained cyber security experts
- A thorough appreciation of cyber security
- The necessary education on cyber security issues for law enforcement
The UN suggests that there need to be a global standard for cyber security, an ecosystem where laws, organisations, skills, cooperation and technical implementation need to be in harmony to be most effective.