Annual Report 2019-2020

Cybersecurity: building confidence & security in ICTs

The main objective related to ITU’s activities in the area of Cybersecurity is to deliver products and services to help ITU membership build confidence and security in the use of telecommunications/ICTs, as well as to contribute to the implementation of national, regional and global initiatives.

During this period, utilizing the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) framework, ITU has continued to assist its membership in different dimensions of cybersecurity – while forging close partnerships with various regional/international organizations and initiatives, including UNODC, INTERPOL, the World Bank, World Economic Forum, FIRST, and others.

ITU continues to facilitate more secure network infrastructure, services and applications. ITU works on technical assessments to evaluate the preparedness of and to equip ITU Member States with a fully functioning/operational National Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs). 76 CIRT assessments and direct engagement in 14 such activities had been completed, including recently in the following countries: Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the State of Palestine. ITU works to enhance national cybersecurity, improve cooperation and coordination and reduce the knowledge gap. Some activities during this period were: regional cybersecurity forums; Cyberdrills – which had already involved more than 100 countries – 4 were organized in Uganda (for Africa Region); Oman (for Arab Region); Malaysia (For Asia Pacific Region) and Romania (Europe and CIS Region).

ITU has published over 200 standards focused on security. It is currently working on a variety of emerging technology areas, including FinTech security, IoT security, Intelligent Transportation System security, Distributed Ledger Technology, Quantum Key Distribution, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning related trust and security, Security of 5G, Edge Computing, among several others.

ITU leads the “Security, Infrastructure and Trust” Working Group of the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI), an initiative of the ITU, the World Bank Group and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The working group has delivered a series of reports on topics including digital identity and strong authentication, consumer protection, security assurance across the value chain, and SS7 security. A Security Clinic run by FIGI in Geneva, 4-5 December 2019, presented the latest findings of the ITU-led FIGI Working Group on “Security, Infrastructure and Trust”.

As a result of this efforts, the third ITU Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) shows considerable improvement in commitment to cybersecurity worldwide.

Child Online Protection (COP)

In 2019, a COP Regional Forum was held in Ghana. In the Asia-Pacific region, assistance was provided for the development of the ASEAN Regional Framework, build upon the COP Guidelines. Assistance was provided to Georgia and Ukraine in the development of a national strategy on child online protection.

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, co-chaired by ITU, released a comprehensive report issued by the Working Group on Child Online Safety in October 2019. The COP Guidelines were included as a reference and taken as the basis to implement the recommendations of the report.

A multi-stakeholder expert working group, consisting of more than 50 organizations and individual experts, are currently reviewing of the Child Online Protection Guidelines, which were first issued in 2009.

Cybersecurity Resources for COVID-19

To support your efforts, ITU is reaching out to encourage you to share information about initiatives, actions, resources and projects on cybersecurity that are designed to help ensure communities remain connected safely and securely. See CYB4COVID

Meet Vanuatu’s cybersecurity team