By George Aine
Uganda has been ranked number one on the Africa continent in cybersecurity management, a new report indicates.
According to the National Cyber Security Index 2018, Uganda has made significant strides in cyber threat analysis and information management, protection of digital services, education and professional development and fight against cybercrime, among others.
Globally Uganda is ranked 40th closely followed in the Africa region by Mauritius (ranked 43rd) and Nigeria (ranked 45th).
The National Cyber Security Index is a global index, which measures the preparedness of countries to prevent cyber threats and manage cyber incidents.
The NCSI is also a database with publicly available evidence materials and a tool for national cybersecurity capacity building.
The index was developed based on the country’s ability to identify fundamental cyber threats at the national level, ability to identify national-level cybersecurity measures and capacities, select important and measurable aspects, develop cybersecurity indicators and Group cybersecurity indicators.
In terms of cyber threat analysis and information such as having a cyber-security website and annually publishing cybersecurity reports, Uganda scored 80% and 78% in terms of education and professional development such as developing cybersecurity competencies in primary and secondary schools and cyber security courses at Bachelor’s, masters and Ph.D. levels.
With regard to the protection of digital services such as cybersecurity responsibility for digital service providers, the cybersecurity standard for the public sector and having a competent supervisory authority, the country also scored 80%.
For E-identification and trust services such as having a unique persistent identifier, requirements for cryptosystems, electronic identification, electronic signature, Timestamping, Electronic registered delivery service and Competent supervisory authority, Uganda scored 67%.
It scored 50% in the protection of essential services such as operators of essential services, cyber security requirements for operators of essential services, having a competent supervisory authority and Regular monitoring of security measures.
In the fight against cybercrime whereby Cybercrimes are criminalized, having Cybercrime unit, Digital forensics unit and contact point for international cybercrime, Uganda also scored 78%.
In cyber incidents response such as Reporting and Single point of contact for international coordination, the score was 50%.
However, Uganda ranked poorly in cybersecurity policy development in terms of setting up a cyber-security policy unit and having a cyber-strategy implementation plan (29%).
In terms of contribution to global cyber security such as convention on Cybercrime, Representation in international cooperation formats and hosting international cyber security organizations and cybersecurity capacity building for other countries, Uganda scored 17%.
On protection of personal data through Personal data protection legislation and Personal data protection authority, Uganda also scored 25%.
On Cyber crisis management and Military cyber operations through Cyber operations unit, Cyber operations exercise, and Participation in international cyber exercises, Uganda ranked 0%.
Minister for ICT Frank Tumwebaze lauded the ranking.
“This is a confidence-building measure for us which helps us to validate what we have been trying out in terms of policy and programmes,” Tumwebaze said.
“The government is committed to building the country’s cyber-security capacity to enable growth of the ICT sector as well as assure safety and security of the government’s online data,” he added.
The minister also advised the private sector to invest in creating secure cyber-barriers to curb the escalating problem of cyber-crime, adding that the government will be enacting laws to help build capacity in policy and regulation against these crimes.