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UN Global Cybersecurity Index: US Second in Cybersecurity Commitment

Singapore outranked the United States in terms of cybersecurity commitment, according to a global survey conducted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations (UN) agency that specializes in information and communication technology.

The "Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2017" of ITU member states revealed the United States rated second behind Singapore among the countries most-committed to cybersecurity, followed by Malaysia, Oman and Estonia.

Other survey findings included:

  • 96 countries were included in the "initiating stage" of cybersecurity and have started to make commitments to cybersecurity.
  • 77 countries were included in the "maturing stage" and are engaging in cybersecurity initiatives and programs.
  • 21 countries were included in the "leading stage" and have demonstrated a strong commitment to cybersecurity.
  • 50 percent of countries currently do not have a cybersecurity strategy in place.
  • 38 percent of countries have published a cybersecurity strategy, and 12 percent are currently developing a cybersecurity strategy.
  • 21 percent of countries publish metrics on cybersecurity incidents.

In addition, 95 percent of countries indicated they are working with international associations dealing with cybersecurity, the survey indicated.

"The potential for global cooperation is heightened by participation in international cybersecurity events. This is almost universal," ITU wrote in its survey report.

ITU Cybersecurity Recommendations

The ITU GCI survey included the following cybersecurity recommendations for government leaders:

  • Train local experts in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity education can help governments address cybersecurity law enforcement challenges.
  • Foster cybersecurity collaboration between developed and developing countries. Bilateral, multilateral and international cooperation can help governments raise awareness of cybersecurity issues.
  • Provide visibility into cybersecurity efforts. With visibility into how countries are improving cybersecurity, governments can discover new ways to identify and resolve cyber threats.

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important, the survey indicated.

As such, governments should consider policies that support continued growth in technology sophistication, access and security as part of a national cybersecurity strategy, the ITU stated.

"The GCI continues to show the commitment to cybersecurity of countries around the world," the ITU noted in its survey report. "However, there is space for further improvement in cooperation at all levels, capacity building and organizational measures."

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.