UN telecom agency launches study to assess status of cybersecurity worldwide

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré speaking at the World Telecommunication Development Conference in Dubai. Photo: ITU/I. Wood

2 April 2014 – The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) launched today a unique initiative to measure the levels of cybersecurity in countries, underlining the agency’s commitment to building Internet safety capacity at the national level, particularly in developing countries.

The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) will be spearheaded by ITU and ABI Research with the long-term aim to drive further efforts in the integration of cybersecurity on a global scale and bridging gaps worldwide. It will allow for a comparison of different national cybersecurity strategies and best practices to be highlighted in specific areas.

“Greater connectivity also brings with it greater risk,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré, in the margins of the agency’s World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) in Dubai.

“As our physical and cyber worlds overlap, there is an increased need to address the related challenges of ensuring security, human rights, rule of law, good governance and economic development,” he added.

“In embracing technological progress, cybersecurity must form an integral and invisible part of that process,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau addressing the forum. “Unfortunately, cybersecurity is not yet at the core of many national and industrial technology strategies.”

The goal of the GCI is to help foster a global culture of cybersecurity and its integration at the core of information and communication technologies. “Countries need to be aware of their current capability level in cybersecurity and, at the same time, identify areas where cybersecurity needs to be enhanced,” Mr. Sanou stressed.

Based on questionnaire responses received by ITU member States, a first analysis of cybersecurity development in the Arab region was compiled and one for the Africa region is under way. The objective is to release a global status of cybersecurity for 2014.

The World Telecommunication Development Conference that opened in Dubai on 30 March and will be in session until 10 April.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

UN telecom head calls for real-time flight data in wake of Malaysian airline tragedy

Related Stories


In-depth Interviews