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.
However, there is still an evident gap between countries in terms of awareness, understanding, knowledge and finally capacity to deploy the proper strategies, capabilities and programmes to ensure a safe and appropriate use of ICTs as enablers for economic development.
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 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) is a survey that measures the commitment of Member States to cybersecurity in order to raise awareness.
The five pillars of the GCI are briefly explained below:
The index has been topped by Singapore with a 0.925 score.
The top 10 most committed countries to cybersecurity are Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France and Canada. Russia is ranked 11th.
India is ranked 23rd on the index with a score of 0.683 and has been listed in the "maturing" category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cybersecurity and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives.