Technology is all around us; it is what we live and breath on a daily basis. From the moment we awake till seconds before we go to sleep, our eyes are fixated on some screen, consuming data, getting information, sharing stories and the list goes on indefinitely. Latin America and the Caribbean is said to the 4th largest mobile communications market and it is estimated that by 2020 there would be more than 600 Million connected smartphones in this region alone.
Two thirds of Internet users today live in the developing world and are driving most of the global economic growth.
The World Bank, for example, estimates that when 10% of the population in developing countries is connected to the Internet, the country’s GDP grows by 1% to 2%
What are we as a region doing to protect the infrastructure and core systems that connect us to each other and the rest of the world? Not enough says the 2016 Cybersecurity Report titled ‘Are we ready in Latin America and the Caribbean’.
This report is a culmination of data from 32 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean Region and is a collaborative effort between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) at the University of Oxford. It paints a grim picture of the cybersecurity readiness of the countries that participated but highlights where improvement is needed.
The cyber maturity of each country was calculated using the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (CMM). It evaluates 49 indicators along a maturity scale of 1 – 5. The indicators were grouped among 5 dimensions:
- National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (Policy and Strategy)
- Cyber Culture and Society (Culture and Society)
- Cybersecurity Education, Training and Skills (Education)
- Legal and Regulatory Frameworks (Legal Frameworks)
- Standards, Organizations and Technologies (Technologies).
Each dimension has multiple factors which contribute towards a more mature state of cybersecurity capacity. Country profiles for each member state were then developed, taking into account statistical data on the country population, Internet penetration, and mobile phone subscriptions (all statistics sourced from World Bank DataBank, last accessed November, 2015 at http://databank.worldbank. org/data/home.aspx).
Where did Trinidad and Tobago place in this Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model? Not too bad in comparison to some of its neighbors, however there are critical areas that need addressing. Trinidad and Tobago is home to one of the 18 Cyber Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT), an accomplishment that is in itself commendable, however, the report indicates that there is much needed to be done at the National level which includes policy development, adherence to international ISO standards, , education of the population and greater collaboration of cyber defense strategies between responsible agencies.
The following charts display a subset of the 32 countries involved. It compares the Cybersecurity Maturity of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Brazil and Uruguay. A link to the entire report is available at the end of this article.
The cybersecurity maturity levels are indicated on the vertical (y-axis) and are graded from 1-5 (1 - startup, 2 - formative, 3 - established, 4 - strategic, 5 - dynamic)
- Cyber Culture and Society Indicators Cyber Culture and Society Indicators
- Cybersecurity Education, Training and Skills Indicators Cybersecurity Education, Training and Skills Indicators
- Legal and Regulatory Frameworks Indicators Legal and Regulatory Frameworks Indicators
- National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy Indicators National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy Indicators
- Standards, Organizations and Technologies Indicators Standards, Organizations and Technologies Indicators