Study: US, UK, and Saudi Arabia lead in commitment to cybersecurity

William S. | June 30, 2021

Cybersecurity practices are constantly evolving as new technologies emerge. Some countries that have more resources are prepared for cyber threats better than others.

According to recent Atlas VPN team findings, the United States, United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia lead in commitment to cybersecurity. However, many countries still lack training and education programs for many professionals.

The numbers are based on the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 report initiated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) score is given by evaluating each countries commitment to legal, technical, organizational, capacity development, and cooperation indicators.

The United States earned a perfect score of 100, getting all 20 points in each GCI indicator. However, while the US has the most cybersecurity resources, the latest cyberattacks on Americans have shown room for improvement. For example, Russia-based hacker ransomware attacks on the supply chain and other industries exposed weaknesses from a technical standpoint.

The United Kingdom follows behind, scoring 99.54 points in GCI. Almost half of the point was taken out of the technical measures. The score indicates that the UK has to employ more computer incident response teams, enabling a country to respond to incidents at the national level using a centralized contact point and promote quick and systematic action.

Saudi Arabia shares second place, getting the same score of 99.54 as the UK. While being one of the fastest developing countries, Saudi Arabia has placed great importance on cybersecurity. They have created a national cybersecurity strategy to reflect the strategic ambition of the Kingdom in a manner that is balanced between security, trust, and growth.

Estonia takes the fourth slot as they scored 99.48, losing just half a point in the capacity development indicator. It measures awareness campaigns, training, education, and incentives for cybersecurity development. Despite that, Estonia has become one of the heavyweights in cybersecurity with a high-functioning central system for monitoring, reporting, and resolving incidents. 

The Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Spain all share fifth place, scoring 98.52 points.

Lack of cybersecurity training

One of the reasons why cyberattacks continue to increase is a lack of cybersecurity education and training.With more knowledge in this field, people could minimize the risks of cybercrime happening.

Just 46% of countries provided specific cybersecurity training for the public sector and government officials. Employees in these fields usually work with a lot of sensitive or confidential information. That is why it is essential to provide training on how to create a cyber-safe work environment.

Meanwhile, 41% of countries provided cybersecurity training to small and medium enterprises or private companies. Businesses often become targets for hackers as the latter can easily profit off of stolen data or ransomware attacks. While more prominent private companies can afford cybersecurity experts, smaller businesses do not have such luxury.

Law enforcement agents received educational cybersecurity programs in 37% of countries. Such training helps officers understand how hackers think and identify the tools that hackers use to commit attacks.

Lastly, 32% of countries provided instructional training to judicial and legal actors.

Beyond co-operating within countries, Global Cybersecurity Index leaders could help less developed countries address cybersecurity challenges. Creating a strategy or sharing good cyber practices can help reach more balanced and robust security against cyber threats.

William S.

William S.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. Focused on revealing the latest cybersecurity trends around the world.

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