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UAE jumps to 5th place in ITU's 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index

UAE’s aggressive digital strategies and policies has put the country in the fifth position in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020, released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies.

The UAE moved ahead 33 places from its previous ranking in a competition involving 193 countries, underscoring its advanced awareness of the vitality of cybersecurity.

​​​​​The ITU report shows a growing commitment around the world to tackle and reduce cybersecurity threats. According to GCI 2020, around half of countries globally say they have formed a national computer incident response team (CIRT), indicating an 11 per cent increase since 2018. Rapid uptake of information and communication technologies (ICTs) during the COVID-19 pandemic has put cybersecurity at the forefront.

The report said that some 64 per cent of countries had adopted a national cybersecurity strategy (NCS) by year-end, while more than 70 per cent conducted cybersecurity awareness campaigns in 2020, compared to 58 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively, in 2018. Yet despite notable improvements, gaps in cyber capacity persist.

The GCI is a trusted reference that measures the commitment of countries to cybersecurity at a global level – to raise awareness of the importance and different dimensions of the issue. Each country's level of development is analysed within five categories: Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organisational Measures, Capacity Building and Cooperation.

Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity at the UAE Government accredited the country’s success to the directives and vision of the UAE’s leadership to establish an advanced digital infrastructure, as part of the country’s preparations for the next 50 years. He has also said that the achievement was the result of contribution and cooperation of local entities, the coordination between public and private entities, and the high level of efficiency achieved by national cadres, according to state news agency WAM report.

The UAE's impressive track record in cybersecurity, includes the establishment of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, as well as Electronic Federal Network (FEDNet) and the UAE Smart Cloud, supported by several e-safety initiatives, digital citizenship certificates and cybersecurity strategies.