Australia scores well on Cisco cyber readiness index

Country placed at number 11 out of 35 countries due to ICT development

Australia’s completion of a national cyber security strategy means it is better prepared to respond to incidents than some countries including Singapore and New Zealand, according to the results of a new global index.

The Cyber Readiness Index 1.0 was conducted by Hathaway Global Strategies president Melissa Hathaway on behalf of Cisco with the results published on 8 November 2013. This is the first time the index has been conducted.

The report examined 35 countries that have readily adopted ICT and the Internet. It measured national cyber security strategy, formal incident response capability, commitment to fighting electronic crime, information sharing and cyber initiatives investment.

The order in which each country is listed is a country’s standing in the ICT Development Index published by ITU.

Australia was placed at number 11 as it has a national strategy, critical incident response team (CIRT), crime treaties, information sharing, a research & development agenda and funding.

South Korea took out the top spot followed by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong.

Australia came in ahead of Japan, Switzerland, Macau, Singapore, New Zealand, the United States, France, Germany and Canada for cyber readiness.

Speaking at a media briefing in Sydney, Melissa Hathaway said that while Australia was investing in cyber security it was not currently measuring gross domestic product (GDP) losses from intellectual property theft.

According to Hathaway, GDP grew by 1.8 per cent in Australia during 2012. In contrast, GDP growth for the United States was 2.2 per cent in 2012.

“The United States government conducted an investigation and found that it lost at least US$300 billion in intellectual property theft. That’s 1 per cent of our GDP,” she said.

“One can stand to reason that if the United States is losing 1 per cent and Germany is losing more than 1.5 per cent GDP to intellectual property theft, it stands to reason that because Australia is a developed ICT country it is losing at least 1 per cent GDP.”

Hathaway added that measuring GDP loss will become “super important” for Australia as the National Broadband Network is rolled out because cyber security threats are likely to increase with the proliferation of high speed broadband.

“As Australia is working on its Cyber Security Centre, it will be important to identify the key industries that will need to be leveraged and mobilised to restore essential services in the event of a crisis,” she said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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