The U.S. has some of the world’s best cybersecurity infrastructure, second only to Singapore, according to a United Nations survey published on Wednesday.
The survey, from the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ranks countries based on five criteria. Among them are the ability to prosecute hackers, the technical ability to prevent cyber attacks, cooperation with other countries, the strength of the local cybersecurity industry, and how well a government’s cybersecurity agency is organized.
The U.S. achieved a perfect score for the legal and industry categories, and its technical and organizational scores were both above 90 percent. It didn’t fare as well when it comes to cooperation, however, scoring 73 percent in the ITU’s weighted average. The US’s overall score was 91 percent, placing it ahead of Malaysia (89 percent), and behind first-place Singapore (92 percent).
In addition to those three countries, the ITU’s top 10 list includes other developed countries like France, Canada, and Australia, but also smaller, less developed nations including Estonia, Mauritius, and Georgia. The only Middle Eastern country in the top 10 was Oman, which ranked fourth.
The ranking is based on surveys the ITU distributed to its 193 member countries. The agency compiled rankings for the 59 countries that didn’t respond to the survey on research from publicly available sources.
The 2017 ranking is the ITU’s second cybersecurity report. It issued the first in 2014, and noted that while countries have made progress in countering cyber attacks since then, hackers are getting better, too. Nearly 1 percent of emails sent in 2016 were malicious attacks, ITU’s Telecommunication Development Director Brahima Sanou wrote in the report.
“Governments across the world recognize that digital transformation has the power to further the prosperity and wellbeing of their citizens,” he said. “In supporting this transformation, they also recognize that cyber security must be an integral and indivisible part of technological progress.”