The information and communication technologies (ICT) networks, devices and services are increasingly critical for day-to-day life. In 2016, almost half the world used the Internet (3.5 billion users) and according to one estimate, there will be over 12 billion machine-to-machine devices connected to the Internet by 2020. Yet, just as in the real world, the cyber world is exposed to a variety of security threats that can cause immense damage.
Statistics on threats to computer networks are sobering and reflect a shift from the relatively innocuous spam of yesteryear to threats that are more malicious. Ransomware continues to plague businesses and consumers, with indiscriminate campaigns pushing out massive volumes of malicious emails. In some cases, organizations can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ransomware-laden emails they receive. Attackers are demanding more and more from victims with the average ransom demand in 2016 rising to USD 1 077, up from USD 294 a year earlier .
The scale of cybercrime makes it critical for governments to have a robust cybersecurity ecosystem in place to reduce threats and enhance confidence in using electronic communications and services. It is therefore clear that there is a direct cause-effect principle between the growth of ICTs and their illicit and malicious use.
In this context, ITU, together with international partners from private-public and private sector as well as academia, has established the GCI with the key objective of building capacity at the national, regional and international level, through assessing the level of engagement of countries on cybersecurity, and, with the data gathered, producing a list of good practices that can be used by countries in need.
The report also includes case studies which may be helpful in quoting examples in examination.