Ott Tammik, ERR
A new report commissioned by the computer security company McAfee ranks Estonia as having a reliable cyber security structure.
Finland, Sweden and Israel were deemed the leaders of cyber security, all scoring 4.5 out of five. Estonia, with 4, was placed in the same group with Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK and the US.
“The massive denial-of-service attacks against Estonia in 2007 alerted the world to what a cyber-attack might look like, although the consequences were not nearly as bad as the international press suggested,” the report said.
“Many countries are now looking to Estonia for cyber-security leadership, even if Canadian expert Rafal Rohozinski stresses that 'Estonia is really too small a country to be a case study,'” the report said. “But it is clearly easier to get organized in a small country.”
Since the 2007 “cyber war,” Estonia's public and private sector has further increased security, electronic signatures, backup systems and firewalls. Experts commended Estonia's secure national authentication services, which require two electronic signatures. The only other country to do this is Israel.
“The defense of critical infrastructure is now very much top of the agenda, and with 75 percent of it in private hands, much emphasis is being put on private-public partnerships,” the report said. “Estonia has also been a frontrunner in promoting international cooperations, and has cyber-defense cooperation agreements with the Baltic and Nordic states.”
Estonia's claim to fame as an internet savvy country includes having conducted the world's first e-voting in Parliamentary elections in 2005. It is also home to NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, and the EU's new IT agency.
China, Italy, Poland, Russia were rated less favorably in the McAfee report, with Brazil, India, Romania and especially Mexico representing the weakest cyber security. Conducted by the think tank SDA, the survey was based on interviews and hundreds of subjective expert opinions.
The study also had the following interesting results:
- 57 percent of global experts believe that an arms race is taking place in cyber space.
- 36 percent believe cyber security is more important than missile defense.
- 43 percent identified damage or disruption to critical infrastructure as the greatest single threat posed by cyber attacks with wide economic consequences
- 45 percent of respondents believe that cyber security is as important as border security.
- The state of cyber readiness of the United States, Australia, UK, China and Germany all ranked behind smaller countries such as Israel, Sweden and Finland.
McAfee Report: Estonia a 'Frontrunner' in Cyber Security