JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia jumped up 11 places from 2018 to be ranked second in the world among countries committed to cybersecurity at a global level.

The Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, a trusted reference that measures the commitment of its 193 members to cybersecurity, released the rankings.

The Kingdom also ranked No. 1 in the Arab world, the Middle East, and Asia in the index produced, analyzed, and published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which is a specialized agency of the UN.

Saudi Arabia made a significant jump in the rankings since Vision 2030 was launched in 2017 when it ranked 46th in the world.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) thanked the Kingdom’s leadership for the continued support to implement measures to make cybersecurity more resilient.

The authority said cybersecurity has a broad field of application. Each country’s level of development or engagement is assessed along five pillars: Legal, technical, organizational, capacity development, and cooperation.

The NCA said the Kingdom performed exceptionally in all aspects as one of the main factors that boosted the country’s ranking was the presence of a specialized reference body for cybersecurity.

The NCA was established by a royal decree in October 2017. It is mandated with implementing the National Information Security Strategy, which formalizes a Kingdom-wide framework for cybersecurity, risk mitigation, and resilience via governance policies, standards, cyber-defense operations, and development of human capital and local industry capabilities.

The NCA’s stated mission is to “work closely with public and private entities to improve the cybersecurity posture of the country in order to safeguard its vital interests, national security, critical infrastructures, high-priority sectors, and government services and activities in alignment with Vision 2030.”

Last year, NCA signed a partnership with ITU to launch a program to create safe cyberspace for children around the world.

“The global program for creating a safe and prosperous cyberspace for children aims to build capacities and knowledge for children around the globe that reinforces their ability to face cyber challenges,” the authority said.

The Communications and Information Technology Commission announced the implementation of a regulatory framework to beef up cybersecurity in the Kingdom.

The “cybersecurity regulatory framework” for service providers in the communications, IT, and postal service sector aims to raise the security levels of service providers.

It seeks to ensure the implementation of adequate cybersecurity measures following the best international practices.

The framework ensures an increase in the level of confidence in the integrity of the infrastructure of service providers, and the application of best practices to develop appropriate cybersecurity measures.

This regulatory framework also requires the adoption of a risk management methodology and the fulfillment of all cybersecurity requirements by service providers to enable them to deal with cyber threats effectively.


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