“Cyber power is created when a complex digital information network is combined with a secure and robust physical infrastructure and developed by a skilled workforce.” computing.co.uk
The Cyber Power Index, as developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, demonstrates a country’s ability to withstand cyber attacks and to build the digital infrastructure needed for a productive economy. The Index allows us to better understand the benefits and potential challenges of cyber power.
The UK is currently top in the Index with a score of 76.8, followed in order by the US, Australia, Germany and Canada. In fact, the UK scored three time the amount of points on a scale of 0-100 as Saudi Arabia, who currently sit bottom of the G20 countries featured in the Index. The UK did, however, prove weaker in the areas of educational level and technical skills.
The Key Areas of the Cyber Security Index
There are four areas which make up the Index and which are all weighted differently. These are:
The Legal and Regulatory Framework Category
This measures the government’s commitment to cyber capacity and the effectiveness of their national cyber security plan. Germany have in place a comprehensive, long-term plan which exemplifies the ideal in national cyber security, regularly updating their plans in line with new developments.
There is more to this category however. It also includes the existence of a cyber enforcement authority; the availability of cyber security laws; and the response to cyber crime.
26.3% of overall Index – the UK rates as joint second alongside the US, with a score of 97.3, while Germany lead the way with a near perfect score of 99.3
The Economic and Social Context Category
This category measures educational levels, technical skills, openness of trade and the degree of innovation in the business environment.
25% of the overall – the US leads the way in this category with a score of 64.2. Although the UK stands fifth in this category, most countries in the Index have room for improvement. Out of the European countries, the UK is the only one to appear in the top 5 in this category.
“The US has the most supportive economic and social context for fostering cyber power according to the index. This is driven by high tertiary education enrollment, research and development investment, and an open trade environment.” www.boozallen.com
The Technology and Infrastructure Category
This includes access to, quality of and affordability of information and communications technology, spending on information technology, and the number of secure servers. Accounting for 26.3% of the overall, the UK leads the way with a score of 89.1. In this area we lead by quite a considerable amount, with the US in second place scoring 75.3.
The Industry Application Category
As the title suggests, this category looks at how widespread the implementation of ICT is across traditional industries e-Health, e-Commerce, and e-Government. Breaking this category down further, the UK scored highest in the e-Health category and third in e-Commerce. Accounting for 22.5% of the overall, again, the UK came fifth in this category with a score of 61.4, behind Australia (66.5), South Korea (63.5), the US (62.3) and Canada (61.5).
Despite the UK scoring highest in the overall index, a break down of the scoring categories highlights the areas that require improvement. The Economic Intelligence Unit point out that with greater cyber power actually comes greater vulnerability, and so the UK’s cyber security plans need to be always improving and developing with the times.
For more in-depth information on the Cyber Power Index and what this could mean for your chambers, contact us today to speak our experts.