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ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index

Context:

Recently, the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020 was released by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and it ranked India among the top 10 countries.

Relevance:

GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Cybersecurity, Cyber warfare, Challenges to Internal Security Through Communication Networks)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The Need, Challenges and Measures regarding Cyber Security in India
  2. About the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) and ITU
  3. Highlights of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI)
  4. About India’s Progress on cyberspace security

Click Here to read about the Need, Challenges and Measures regarding Cyber Security in India

About the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) and ITU

  • The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) assessment is done on the basis of performance on five parameters of cybersecurity including legal measures, technical measures, organisational measures, capacity development, and cooperation.
  • The GCI is released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
  • The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies.
  • The ITU promotes the shared global use of the radio spectrum, facilitates international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, assists in developing and coordinating worldwide technical standards, and works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world.
  • It is also active in the areas of broadband Internet, wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks.
  • The ITU was initially aimed at helping connect telegraphic networks between countries. However, with its mandate consistently broadening with the advent of new communications technologies – it adopted its current name in 1934.

Highlights of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI)

  • The US topped the rankings on key cybersafety parameters and was placed above the UK (United Kingdom) and Saudi Arabia tied on the second position together. Following these 3 countries, Estonia was ranked third (3rd) in the index.
  • India has been ranked tenth (10th) and has moved up 37 places. India has also secured the fourth position in the Asia Pacific region, underlining its commitment to cybersecurity.
  • The GCI results for India show substantial overall improvement and strengthening under all parameters of the cybersecurity domain.
  • India scored a total of 97.5 points from a possible maximum of 100 points, to make it to the tenth position worldwide in the GCI 2020.

About India’s Progress on cyberspace security

  • India has made only “modest progress” in developing its policy and doctrine for cyberspace security despite the geo-strategic instability of its region and a keen awareness of the cyber threat it faces.
  • The military confrontation with China in the disputed Ladakh border area in June 2020, followed by a sharp increase in Chinese activity against Indian networks, has heightened Indian concerns about cyber security, not least in systems supplied by China.
  • India has some cyber-intelligence and offensive cyber capabilities but they are regionally focused, principally on Pakistan.
  • India’s approach towards institutional reform of cyber governance has been “slow and incremental”, with key coordinating authorities for cyber security in the civil and military domains established only as late as 2018 and 2019 respectively.
  • The strengths of the Indian digital economy include a vibrant start-up culture and a very large talent pool. The private sector has moved more quickly than the government in promoting national cyber security.
  • The country is active and visible in cyber diplomacy but has not been among the leaders on global norms, preferring instead to make productive practical arrangements with key states. India is currently aiming to compensate for its weaknesses by building new capability with the help of key international partners – including the US, the UK and France – and by looking to concerted international action to develop norms of restraint.

-Source: Hindustan Times, Indian Express

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December 2022
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