Estonia scored the maximum – 20 points – in four out of five categories: Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organisational Measures and Cooperative Measures. The Legal Measures pillar of the index focuses on regulations, regarding cybercrime and cybersecurity, the Technical Measures pillar on the implementation of technical capabilities through national and sector-specific agencies. The Organisation Measures pillar looks at the national strategies and organisations implementing cybersecurity and the Cooperation pillar at partnerships between agencies, firms and countries.
The fifth category that Estonia gained near-maximum 19.48 points in, is the Capacity Development Measures which focuses on awareness campaigns, training, education, and incentives for cybersecurity capacity development.
No time to rest
“It is a very high recognition of the systemic work done in the Estonian cybersecurity. Especially for a small country with limited resources. We can rejoice, but we should not rest on laurels. It is an ever-evolving space, and the global situation is more dangerous than ever. And considering how digitally dependent Estonia is because of its high-level e-governance, we must also keep investing more in cybersecurity,” commented Raul Rikk, the National Cybersecurity Director of Estonia, to e-Estonia. “I think Estonia leading the way in cybersecurity can serve as a positive example for smaller countries wanting to excel in the field, too. And we have always been happy to share our experience, best practices and show what our ICT sector has to offer,” Rikk added. Raul Rikk, by the way, was one of the founders of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn and also the founder of the National Cybersecurity Index.
World becoming dependent of digital lifelines
It goes without saying, cybersecurity is now a must for anything done in the connected world. And Estonia has always been a pioneer in that field, too – after all, Estonia was one of the first countries in the world to create a cybersecurity strategy in 2008.
“The need for a safe and secure cyberspace has become more important than ever, especially as we all grow increasingly dependent on “digital lifelines”. One of the greatest challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic has been finding ways to meaningfully connect with each other, despite uncertainty, anxiety, and change,” Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau writes in the foreword of the report.
The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) was first launched in 2015 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to measure the commitment of 193 ITU Member States and the State of Palestine to cybersecurity to help them identify areas of improvement and encourage countries to take action, through raising awareness on the state of cybersecurity worldwide. As cybersecurity risks, priorities, and resources evolve, the GCI has also adapted to give a more accurate snapshot of cybersecurity measures taken by countries.
The Index maps 82 questions on Member State cybersecurity commitments across five pillars: legal measures; technical measures; organisational measures; capacity development measures and cooperation measures.