Analysis: Ireland 26th in world cyber security league, says UN

Singapore has a near-perfect approach to cybersecurity, but many other rich countries have holes in their defences and some poorer countries are showing them how it should be done, a UN survey has shown.

Wealth breeds cybercrime, but it does not automatically generate cyber security, so governments need to make sure they are prepared, the survey by the UN International Telecommunication Union said.

Ireland was ranked 26th of 195 states and territories around the world in terms of meeting its commitment to cyber security. In Europe, it is below the UK and Germany, but above Austria and Italy.

“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,” the survey said.

The US came second in the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Cybersecurity Index, but many of the other highly rated countries were small or developing economies.

The rest of the top 10 were Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France and Canada. Russia ranked 11th. India was 25th, one place ahead of Germany, and China was 34th.

The ranking was based on countries’ legal, technical and organisational institutions, their educational and research capabilities, and their co-operation in information-sharing networks.

“Cybersecurity is an ecosystem where laws, organisations, skills, co-operation and technical implementation need to be in harmony to be most effective,” the survey said.

“The degree of interconnectivity of networks implies that anything and everything can be exposed, and everything from national critical infrastructure to our basic human rights can be compromised.”

The crucial first step was to adopt a national security strategy, but 50% of countries have none, the survey said. Among the countries that ranked higher than their economic development was 57th-placed North Korea, which was let down by its ‘co-operation- score but still ranked three spots ahead of much-richer Spain. Equatorial Guinea scored zero.

Reuters and Irish Examiner staff

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