On 10 September 2018, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations' specialized agency for information and communication technology, together with 11 partners from intergovernmental and international organizations, private sector, as well as academia and civil society published the “National Cybersecurity Strategy Guide” to assist countries in the development and implementation of national cybersecurity strategies including cyber-preparedness and resilience. The Cyber Readiness team at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) provided extensive experience, knowledge, and expertise to the development of this important document as well as references to the Cyber Readiness Index 2.0 (CRI 2.0) relevant to this publication.

The Guide notes that cybersecurity is a fundamental element underpinning the achievement of socio-economic objectives of modern economies. It is a complex challenge that encompasses myriad governance, policy, operational, technical and legal issues. This guide addresses, organizes, and prioritizes many of these areas based on existing and well-recognized models, frameworks and other references. It focuses on protecting civilian aspects of cyberspace and as such, it highlights the overarching principles and good practices that need to be considered in the process of drafting, developing and managing a National Cybersecurity Strategy.

As Melissa Hathaway, CRI principal investigator, stated: "this is the largest, and hopefully most impactful, effort to date to bring intergovernmental and international organizations, as well as private sector, academia, and civil society together to produce a comprehensive overview of successful national cybersecurity strategies. The Guide is meant to assists policy-makers in the development of strategies that take into consideration a country's specific situation, cultural and societal values, and that encourage the pursuit of secure, resilient, ICT-enhanced and connected societies." Francesca Spidalieri, CRI co-principal investigator, continued: "We are very proud of the result of two years of our intense work and are happy to have contributed to this important project. It is our hope that this Guide will encourage national leaders and policy-makers to think strategically about cybersecurity, cyber-preparedness, and resilience, and help them better align their national economic vision with their national security agenda."

The guide's partners include: the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Deloitte, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) at University of Oxford, Microsoft, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre Of Excellence (NATO CCD COE), the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, RAND Europe, the World Bank and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Click here to download the National Cybersecurity Strategy Guide.

The Cyber Readiness Index 2.0 provides a comprehensive, comparative, experience-based methodology to evaluate countries' commitment and maturity to closing the gap between countries' current cybersecurity posture and the national cyber capabilities needed to support their digital future. The CRI 2.0 methodology is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, and is currently being applied to 125 countries. The resulting country reports are based on over seventy unique indicators across seven essential elements to discern operationally ready activities and identify areas for improvement in the following categories: national strategy, incident response, e-crime and law enforcement, information sharing, investment in research and development (R&D), diplomacy and trade, and defense and crisis response. The CRI country profiles of France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States can be found by following this link.

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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science, technology, and national security issues facing our society, providing in particular, an academic forum for the study of related policy issues. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government. For further information see www.potomacinstitute.org

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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.

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