The UAE jumped 33 places to rank fifth in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 owing to its advanced awareness about the importance of cyber security, state news agency Wam reported.
The index is issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations-backed internet and telecoms agency, and ranks 193 countries on their commitment to cybersecurity.
Each country's pace is measured within five categories, namely legal measures, technical measures, organisational measures, capacity building and co-operation.
The UAE’s position in the index is "the fruit of the UAE's digitisation strategies and policies, and the integrated and smart operational ecosystem, which helped bolster performance across all sectors", Wam cited Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity at the UAE government, as saying.
Cybersecurity has increasingly become an imperative of governments and companies as digitisation gathers pace as a result of the pandemic, with digital criminal activity increasing.
The cybersecurity market is forecast to be worth $363.05 billion in 2025, almost 125 per cent more than the amount spent in 2019, according to Mordor Intelligence, a research consultancy. The market is projected to grow at an annual 14.5 per cent over the next five years.
The UAE has taken various steps to strengthen its cyber security framework, particularly within the government entities. The country formed a new council last year to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and help create a safe and strong cyber infrastructure in the UAE.
The council will help develop a legal and regulatory framework to cover all types of cyber-crimes, secure existing and emerging technologies and establish a robust National Cyber Incident Response Plan to enable a swift and co-ordinated response to cyber incidents in the country.
Last year, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, also launched the Dubai Cyber Index – an initiative aimed at encouraging government entities to adopt the highest standards of cyber security.
The index, created by Dubai Electronic Security Centre, is aimed at promoting healthy competition among government entities in applying information security standards. Its aim is to make Dubai the city 'with the safest cyberspace in the world', Dubai government media office said at that time.