A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. (Reuters)
Egypt has achieved a high ranking in the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index, coming 14th out of 165 countries and second among the Arab states, Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said on Sunday.
The new report highlights advances in Egypt's cybersecurity efforts, ranking it above nations such as Germany, Switzerland and Israel. Within the region, Egypt came second only to Oman, beating high-tech competitors such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the report, Egypt has "a full range of cooperation initiatives" relating to cybersecurity and "a number of bi-lateral and multilateral agreements".
Among its international activities, says the report, Egypt is a member of the UN Government Group of Experts (GGE) on cybersecurity.
Globally, however, Egypt comes after Singapore, United states, Malaysia, Australia, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, Japan and Korea.
The index was first launched in 2014 to help foster a global culture of cyber-security and its integration at the core of information and communication technology (ICT).
It is issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in cooperation with a range of partners, including the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) in Egypt and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.
The index is based on a survey that measures the commitment of member states to cyber-security in order to raise awareness. It revolves around the ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) and its five pillars: legal, technical, organizational, capacity building and cooperation, according to the ITU website.
Among the key concerns relating to cybersecurity is the ability of hackers, whether independent or linked to a state, to gain access to IT systems and either steal data or somehow compromise the system.
"In May 2017, a massive cyberattack caused major disruption to companies and hospitals in over 150 countries, prompting a call for greater cooperation around the world," said Brahima Sanou, director of ITU, in the foreword to the report.
According to the Egyptian ministry's statement, the ICT, financial and government sectors in Egypt receive support from the Egyptian Computer Emergency Readiness Team (EG-CERT), established by NTRA in April 2009 to help tackle cybersecurity-related threats.
EG-CERT is planning for additional laboratories for mobile cybersecurity and industrial control systems, the ministry said.
According to the ministry's June 2016 report on Information and Communications Technology Indicators , there are 29.8 million internet users in Egypt.
The World Bank's 2015 world development indicator stated that about 43 percent of the world population has internet access, and 208,712 in every one million people use secure internet servers, which help provide protection from internet hackers.