In the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) that gives an overview of 193 countries´ commitments to cybersecurity, Estonia can be found in 3rd place on the global scale, just behind the USA, the UK, and Saudi Arabia (that share the 2nd place). Among the European Union member-states, Estonia is the most secure country.
Compared to the previous Index, Estonia climbed two places both globally and regionally.
The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) was first launched in 2015 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to measure the commitment of 193 ITU Member States and the State of Palestine to cybersecurity to help them identify areas of improvement and encourage countries to take action, through raising awareness on the state of cybersecurity worldwide.
No time to rest
“It is a very high recognition of the systemic work done in the Estonian cybersecurity. Especially for a small country with limited resources. We can rejoice, but we shouldn´t rest on laurels. It is an ever-evolving space, and the global situation is more dangerous than ever. And considering how digitally dependent Estonia is because of its high-level e-governance, we must also keep investing more in cybersecurity,” commented Raul Rikk, the National Cybersecurity Director of Estonia. “I think Estonia leading the way in cybersecurity can serve as a positive example for smaller countries wanting to excel in the field, too. And we have always been happy to share our experience, best practices and show what our ICT sector has to offer,” Rikk added. Raul Rikk, by the way, was one of the founders of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn and also the founder of the National Cybersecurity Index.
44 zettabytes of the digital world
The fourth iteration of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) comes at a very different time than its predecessors. When the Global Cybersecurity Agenda was first launched in 2007, the first iPhone was still a month away from release and Facebook had only been open to users outside universities in the United States for a year. A billion people were online, and there were concerns that the amount of data created, 255 exabytes, would exceed available storage.
Today, 3.5 billion people are online and the digital world is estimated to be 44 zettabytes, with no risk of unavailable storage thanks to cloud computing. In addition, ICT proliferation has affected the broader national ecosystem giving life to new organizational possibilities, such as e-government services, and new economic and productive paradigms such as Industry 4.0 and the broader digital economy.
Increased Internet traffic, increased cybercrime
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected how societies operate. As the pandemic began to take hold in April 2020, Akamai noted Internet traffic increased by 30 percent. Global losses from cybercrime skyrocketed to nearly $1 trillion in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic provided new opportunities for hackers to target consumers and businesses.
It goes without saying, cybersecurity is now a must for anything done in the connected world. And Estonia has always been a pioneer in that field, too – after all, Estonia was one of the first countries in the world to create a cybersecurity strategy in 2008.
You might also want to take a closer look at the recording of the high-level web conference the e-Estonia Briefing Centre organised in February titled “How to keep cyberspace secure”, with Estonian cybersecurity powerhouses Cybernetica, Veriff, and CybExer presenting their solutions.
✈️ Can’t travel but want to hear more about Estonian cybersecurity experience in order to implement it in your country or company? Take a look at our services and get in touch – we’ve got you covered!
communications manager for digital services at the e-estonia briefing centre