How are governments tackling cybersecurity?

A lot of what we hear around cybersecurity focuses on industry's work to protect itself. But what about governments and the international community - what are they doing to ensure they, and their citizens, are protected against increasingly savvy cybercriminals?

Internet users are increasing, data gathered is growing and with it, cybersecurity risks are evolving. The World Economic Forum's Short Term Risk Outlook noted that 76% of respondents expected cyberattacks on infrastructure to rise this year.

Governments have recognised the need to address cybersecurity for a long time, but only relatively recently as a tier one risk. However, this increased awareness doesn't necessarily translate to deep understanding or agreement on an appropriate course of action.

The good news is that there's a great deal of discussion, bringing together governments, the private sector and non-profit leaders "who're looking at development of regulation, voluntary best practices and standards, public-private initiatives, enhanced law authorities and the formation of non-profit entitles and initiatives to disrupt cyber attackers," says Jen Ellis, VP Community and Public Affairs at cybersecurity firm Rapid7.

National cybersecurity strategies

Countries with a somewhat mature cyberspace outlook are deliberately creating policies and capabilities to protect themselves and the information that flows through them. For example, in the UK we've seen the emergence of entities such as the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), while the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is the lead UK authority on creating cyber-related policy.

Other countries with developing economies are taking a very strategic approach to cybersecurity planning, leveraging the lessons learned from different countries to rapidly move from national goals to policy, strategy and implementation. "The Organization of American State's Inter-American Defense Foundation is an example of a strong enabling force for such strategic planning in Latin America," notes Phil Quade, CISO at cybersecurity firm Fortinet.

International initiatives

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