Estonian cyberspace’s security ranks 5th in the world, 1st in Europe

16.06.2017 | Raul Rikk

Yesterday, 15.06 during the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) introduced a new iteration of the Global Cybersecurity Index. According to this index Estonia ranks 5th in the world and 1st in Europe.

Estonia ranked fifth after Singapore, USA, Malaysia and Oman. Norway was placed 11th, Finland 16th and Sweden 17th. From Baltic countries, Latvia takes the 21st and Lithuania 57th position. The index consists all 195 world countries.



In addition to the ITU’s index, several alternative indices were introduced in Geneva: the Estonian e-Governance Academy presented a new National Cyber Security Index, the Oxford University Global Cybersecurity Capacity Centre presented its Cybersecurity Maturity Model and the World Bank introduced its new self-assessment tool for measuring cybercrime.

Regarding the ITU’s index, it is interesting to witness that countries with relatively poor ratings in ICT development indices have quite good positions in the cybersecurity index. Yet the countries ranking well in the ICT development indices, don’t necessarily have as good positions in the Global Cybersecurity Index.

ITU generally uses the same approach for the cyber security measurement as it did during the first time in 2014. The index consists of 5 areas: legislation, technical capacity, organisational capacity, capacity building and cooperation. Regarding specific indicators, the new iteration is much more specific than before. Instead of 17 indicators, the new version has 25, which consist of 157 specific questions. This approach allows to measure countries’ cyber security situation much more precisely than before.

Unfortunately, as the ITU does not present the input information, it is hard to judge whether the data and evidence materials presented by the governments are valid. Also, it makes it difficult to improve the situation in the countries, as the wider expert community can’t see which fields need improvements. In addition, the data was collected between January – September 2016, but many countries have significantly advanced their cyber security level since then.

For these reasons, the Estonian e-Governance Academy developed an alternative index, which was launched last year. The National Cyber Security Index shows countries’ cyber security situation through 12 strategic capacities and 60 different indicators. Every positive answer is backed with publicly available evidence materials. The index is presented online at www.ncsi.ega.ee and is continuously updated.

Read the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity 2017 Raport here.