The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) released the second edition of the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 last week. The ITU is an agency of the United Nations tasked with measuring the commitment of member countries in setting up cyber security measures and highlights some of the best practices around the world.
The ITU survey released last week ranked countries by their demonstrated commitment towards securing their respective cyberspace. The measurements were done based on five key pillars:
Ø Organizational measures
Ø Capacity building
Ø International cooperation
From the survey, it has been established that developing countries do not have in place well-trained cyber security experts. Neither is there an appreciation for cyber security education, and cyber laws enforcements. There are in fact obstacles to the execution of the rule of law within the cyberspace as the judiciary, and legislative organs have yet to catch up to international standard cyber laws.
Nonetheless, Africa is experiencing a surge in internet access, and more people are coming online by the day. However, without proper cyber security laws and infrastructure in place, all these development means a recipe for disaster is looming.
Take, for instance, the recent attack on the South African Department of Education website. It served as a good example of just how many African countries are sitting ducks waiting to be slaughtered by would-be hackers and online thieves.
That said, let us delve into the top 10 African countries that have commendable cyber security measures in place as per the survey:
|1. Mauritius: This country off the coast of East Africa scored highest in legal and technical areas. It is ranked 6th place in the world with a total of 0.830 overall.|
|2. Egypt: Located in the northeast part of the continent, this country scored highly in the technical area. Egypt has set up a Computer Emergency Response Team (EG-CERT), which supports various entities in the ICT sector. The country is ranked 14th globally and second in Africa with an overall score of 0.772.|
|3. Rwanda: It scored high in the organizational pillar. Rwanda has a standalone cyber security policy that addresses cyber issues in both public and private sectors. The country is ranked 36th globally and 3rd in Africa with an overall score of 0.602.|
|4. Kenya: The East African country ranks highly in the cooperation department thanks to the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Center. Globally, the country is ranked 45 with a score of 0.574.|
|5. Nigeria: Globally the West African country is ranked 46th with an overall score of 0.569. The survey says Nigeria’s cyber security space and programs are in “maturing stage.” That is to say, the GCI score for the country is somewhere between the 50th and 89th percentile.|
|6. Morocco: The North African country comes in at position 49 globally with an average score of 0.541. Morocco is a member of the ITU-IMPACT initiative, which makes it have access to relevant cyber security measures. The country has officially recognized both national and sector-specific cybersecurity measures using in the execution of cybersecurity standards at par with the world.|
|7. Uganda: The East African country has set up a Global Cyber Security Capacity Center, which facilitated a self-assessment of the country’s cyber security standards. The state is ranked 50th globally with and an overall score of 0.536.|
|8. South Africa: Found at the southern tip of Africa, the country has a national cyber security hub that serves as the central point for collaboration between government departments, industries, and civil society for all matters cyber security. The country is ranked 58th globally with an overall score of 0.502|
|9. Algeria: The North African country is ranked 68th globally with an overall score of 0.432. The country has advanced levels of partnerships that facilitate sharing of cyber security assets across borders.|
|10. Botswana: The Southern Africa landlocked country has an overall score of 0.430. Botswana has set up a Mailtlamo National ICT policy, governing cyber security with the Telecommunication Authority being tasked with management of the country’s national cyberspace affairs.|