Canada ranks 2nd in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI)

ABI Research and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have released the 2015 Global Cybersecurity Index, which rates countries in their preparedness for a cyber-attack. Overall, Canada finished just three-one hundredths of a point behind the United States, with a score of 0.794, taking second place. Mexico trailed 73 countries, including Sudan and Myanmar, with a score of 0.324, while Germany topped the list of European countries, rounding out the top 10 with a score of 0.706.

GCI ranked 193 countries across five categories: legal, technical, organizational, capacity building and cooperation. Among North and South American countries, Canada ranked first or second in each category, including first place globally in the technical category.

Canada has a strong legal framework for dealing with cybercrime

In many countries, existing laws are not tailored to deal with cybercrime, enabling criminals to avoid severe punishment while jeopardizing economic and political security. But Canada has specific legislation within the Criminal Code, in addition to regulatory and compliance measures such as the Anti-spam Act, Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations and Secure Electronic Signature Regulations. As a result, Canada received the second highest score in the legal category among North and South American countries.

Technically, Canada is the most ready for a cyber attack

In the words of the authors of the index, "Technology is the first line of defense against cyber-threats and malicious online agents. Without adequate technical measures and the capabilities to detect and respond to cyber-attacks, nation states and their respective entities remain vulnerable to cyber-threats." In the technical category, GCI gave Canada a perfect score of 1.000, while the United States received a score of 0.833. The global average in the technical category was a mere 0.27, which raises serious concerns for those operating in countries that do not afford an acceptable level of protection.

Canada has organizational and procedural measures to enhance cybersecurity

Globally, Canada received the second highest score for organizational measures combating cyber-crime, matching several countries including the United States, Australia and Finland with a score of 0.875. The organizational measures category gauges countries' roadmaps for governance, the responsibility of national agencies and the existence and effectiveness of efforts to perform national benchmarking.

Canada plays a leading role in cyber security research and development

GCI's capacity building category is important to each of the first three measures, as it assesses how actively countries perform research to improve understanding of the risk and implications of cyber-crime. Knowledge of cyber-crime "is needed in order to develop better legislation, policies and strategies and organization," state GCI authors.

Canada's approach to cybersecurity is among the most cooperative

In the Americas, Canada tied with the United States for first place in the cooperation category. Cooperation is important, as cybersecurity requires input from all sectors and disciplines in order to develop an effective multi-stakeholder approach. In this category, countries were rated on intra-state cooperation, intra-agency cooperation and public-private partnerships.

Access ITU's 2015 Global Cybersecurity Index

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