With the proliferation of cyberattacks, companies and nations are starting to recognize the importance of cybersecurity. But cybersecurity practices vary from company to company and from nation to nation.
A successful cybersecurity program requires legal, technical, and organizational components - as well as research and development - and a widespread adaptation of cybersecurity measures when technology evolves. The most successful countries have actively involved stakeholders from various sectors, that work together to ensure cybersecurity. They recognize the importance of crisis communications solutions like Blackberry AtHoc government solutions, that combine public and private sector resources to address large-scale crisis management.
Who can teach us lessons, and where has cybersecurity preparedness been successful? We looked into some cybersecurity practices across the globe, and this is what we found.
- Research Matters. The UK has been touted as a cybersecurity leader in many areas. Their leadership is due in part to the setup of formalized research centers that fund cutting-edge development and analysis. The UK government sponsors Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) at universities across the country, like Cambridge and Imperial. These programs ensure that the government works with academia and private industry to identify the best cybersecurity research and training in the country. All of the ACE-CSRs are subject to rigorous standards, and require the support and investment of many community stakeholders. If a nation can elevate cybersecurity research, it sends a message - that this practice is a priority and should be taken seriously across all swathes of industry and the public and private sector.
- Measurement Matters. What is secure, and what is not? In a world where the definition of “security” is constantly evolving, you’re also faced with shifting metrics. That’s why South Korea established the National Information Security Index. It’s an objective and quantitative measure that they use to assess private sector security levels across the nation. When this index is applied to enterprise and individual internet users, it gives everyone an idea of their vulnerabilities.
- Education Matters. In India, the government aims to provide education, awareness, and training to individual citizens to get them up-to-speed on best practices for cybersecurity. They run educational programs in many areas, including cryptography, cyber forensics, network monitoring, capacity development, and security assurance. Prioritizing cybersecurity education means everyone is that much more likely to recognize the signs of a cyber attack, and understand how to mitigate them.
- Planning Matters. The German government has created an official Cyber Security Strategy that is sector-specific and nationally-recognized. They have also established an Internet Complaints Office to accept complaints and create channels for issue tracking and awareness on behalf of individual citizens. By enabling Germans with the tools to address cybersecurity, they can be cognizant of problems before they grow even larger. The national strategy helps to provide an IT threat assessment and promote economic and social safety online.
- Collaboration Matters. In Norway, which is thought of as one of the most advanced nations in terms of cybersecurity, collaboration is built into cybersecurity. The Norwegian Computer Emergency Response Team (NSM-NorCERT) has global partners with whom it shares cybersecurity assets, practices, and national-level tips. SERTIT, the public certification authority for IT security in Norway, gives all public sector agencies and professionals a cybersecurity framework.
- Policy Matters. In Canada, cybersecurity isn’t just recommended: it’s official business. Federal departments and agencies across Canada are required to meet IT security strategies informed by the Canadian national security policy. Several official agencies weigh in on this policy, from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to the Defence and Research Development Canada and the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre.
- Awareness Matters. Israel tends to rank high in terms of cybersecurity awareness in many polls. They’re known for having a well-informed governance guidelines, adequate firewalls, and antivirus protection. They’ve set up a country-wide cyber task force to assess threats to infrastructure, like power production and the water supply. Even though they receive more than 1,000 cyber attacks each minute, they have put the structure in place to counter sufficiently these attacks.
Taking cues from the nation’s top cybersecurity experts and practices is a great place to start. Even if you can’t avoid cyberattacks entirely, you can do the next best thing - have a plan in place for when they do occur, and know how to effectively respond. Technology can help enable a swift and effective response through a crisis communication platform like the Blackberry AtHoc Suite.