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Saudi No 2 in cybersecurity ranking; US tops 2020 global list

RIYADH, July 2, 2021

Saudi Arabia jumped up 11 places from 2018 to be ranked second in the world along with the UK (with 99.54 points) among countries committed to cybersecurity at a global level by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
 
The Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, a trusted reference that measures the commitment of its 193 members to cybersecurity, released the rankings. The US topped the list with a perfect score of 100.
 
The numbers are based on the GCI 2020 report initiated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 
 
The GCI score is given by evaluating each countries' commitment to legal, technical, organizational, capacity development, and cooperation indicators.
 
Cybersecurity practices are constantly evolving as new technologies emerge. Some countries that have more resources are prepared for cyber threats better than others.
 
According to recent Atlas VPN team findings, the US, UK and Saudi Arabia lead in commitment to cybersecurity. However, many countries still lack training and education programs for many professionals.
 
The US topped the global list getting all 20 points in each GCI indicator. However, while the US has the most cybersecurity resources, the latest cyberattacks on Americans have shown room for improvement.
 
For example, Russia-based hacker ransomware attacks on the supply chain and other industries exposed weaknesses from a technical standpoint.
 
The UK follows behind, scoring 99.54 points in GCI. Almost half of the point was taken out of the technical measures. 
 
The score indicates that the UK has to employ more computer incident response teams, enabling a country to respond to incidents at the national level using a centralized contact point and promote quick and systematic action, stated Atlas VPN.
 
Saudi Arabia shares second place, getting the same score of 99.54 as the UK. While being one of the fastest developing countries, the kingdom has placed great importance on cybersecurity. 
 
They have created a national cybersecurity strategy to reflect the strategic ambition of the Kingdom in a manner that is balanced between security, trust, and growth, it added.
 
Estonia took the fourth slot with a 99.48 points, losing just half a point in the capacity development indicator. It measures awareness campaigns, training, education, and incentives for cybersecurity development. 
 
Despite that, Estonia has become one of the heavyweights in cybersecurity with a high-functioning central system for monitoring, reporting, and resolving incidents. Korea, Singapore and Spain all share fifth place, scoring 98.52 points.
 
Atlas VPN pointed out that one of the reasons for the spurt in cyberattacks is a lack of cybersecurity education and training. With more knowledge in this field, people could minimize the risks of cybercrime happening, it stated.
 
Just 46% of countries provided specific cybersecurity training for the public sector and government officials. 
 
Employees in these fields usually work with a lot of sensitive or confidential information. That is why it is essential to provide training on how to create a cyber-safe work environment, it stated.
 
As per the latest Atlas VPN report, around 41% of countries provided cybersecurity training to small and medium enterprises or private companies. 
 
This is a welcome and a timely move as businesses often become targets for hackers as the latter can easily profit off of stolen data or ransomware attacks. 
 
While more prominent private companies can afford cybersecurity experts, smaller businesses do not have such luxury.
 
Law enforcement agents received educational cybersecurity programs in 37% of countries. Such training helps officers understand how hackers think and identify the tools that hackers use to commit attacks, said the report.
 
Lastly, 32% of countries provided instructional training to judicial and legal actors.
 
Beyond co-operating within countries, GCI Index leaders could help less developed countries address cybersecurity challenges. Creating a strategy or sharing good cyber practices can help reach more balanced and robust security against cyber threats, it added.



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