The second edition of the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, released earlier this week by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, measured the commitment of ITU Member States to cyber security and highlighted a number of illustrative practices from around the world.
The survey measures the commitment of countries to cyber security based on five pillars namely: legal, technical and organisational measures, capacity building and international cooperation.
The data collected shows that developing countries lack well-trained cyber security experts as well as a thorough appreciation and the necessary education on cyber security issues for law enforcement, and continued challenges in the judiciary and legislative branches.
With cyber security taking centre stage globally, it is imperative that companies all over the world implement solutions to provide a safe space for internet users. The increase in internet penetration in Africa brings opportunity but so does it bring threat. A recent attack of the South African Department of Education website sent shockwaves across the country. The website was hacked and according to the department, the hackers posted pictures of decapitated corpses, some of whom were children. There are many other similar attacks throughout Africa
Let’s take a look at the top 10 African countries that are committed to ensuring that their cyberspace is secure and use measures to improve their security.
At number one, this East African country scored high in the legal and the technical areas. Ranked at number 6 on the global report, Mauritius scored a total of 0.830 overall.
This country, situated in the northeast of Africa scored highly in the technical area. Egypt provides computer emergency response team (EG-CERT) support to several entities in the ICT sector. According to the report, Egypt is ranked 14 globally and second in the continent with an overall score of 0.772.
Ranked third in Africa, Rwanda scores high in the organisational pillar and has a standalone cyber security policy addressing both the public and private sector. Also, an East African country, Rwanda scored 0.602 overall and ranked 36 globally.
Another East African, Kenya is ranked fourth in the region. The country provides a good example of cooperation through its National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre. Kenya scored 0.574 overall and ranked 45 globally.
Ranked fifth in the continent, this West African country scored an overall of 0.569 and ranked 46th globally. According to the report, Nigeria’s cybersecurity programmes and initiatives are in “maturing stage”, meaning the GCI score is between the 50th and 89th percentile.
A North African country, Morocco is ranked 49 globally with an overall score of 0.541. Morocco is a member of the ITU-IMPACT initiative and has access to relevant cyber security services. This country has an officially recognised national (and sector specific) cybersecurity framework for implementing internationally recognised cybersecurity standards. Morocco has established an official recognised National CIRT (maCERT).
This East African country has a Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre that has facilitated a self-assessment of cyber security capacity of the Republic of Uganda. Ranked seventh in the continent, Uganda has an overall score of 0.536 sitting at 50 globally.
- South Africa
Situated on the southern tip of Africa, South Africa established the national cyber security hub to serve as a central point for collaboration between industry, government and civil society on all cyber security incidents. The cyber security hub is mandated by the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework (NCPF) that was passed by Cabinet in 2012. The country is ranked eighth in the continent and 58th globally, with an overall score of 0.502.
Algeria has an overall score of 0.432 and is ranked 68th globally. The country has officially recognised partnerships to facilitate sharing of cybersecurity assets across borders and with other nation states. Ranked ninth in the continent, this country is situated in the north of Africa.
A landlocked country in Southern Africa, Botswana is ranked tenth in the continent. This country has the Maitlamo National ICT policy which makes provisions for cyber security. With an overall score of 0.430, the Telecommunication Authority is the officially recognised agency responsible for implementing a national cyber security strategy, policy and roadmap in Botswana.
- Fundisiwe Maseko