Review Step 2c: Characteristics & Trade-offs Cybersecurity

Box 8: Cybersafety and -security for new users in last-mile connectivity deployments

The number of cybersecurity incidents will continue to increase as more people become connected and conduct more of their daily activities online. Since 2010, the top 10 data breaches have resulted in over 20 billion records being breached. Many users in low- and middle-income countries connect to the Internet through their phones; however, GSMA Intelligence has found that safety and security concerns are among the key barriers to mobile Internet adoption in low-and middle-income countries. According to Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Report, the average monthly infection rate in mobile networks was 0.31 per cent in 2019 (one out of every 300 mobile devices had a high threat-level malware infection). In 2019, cybersecurity incidents were rated a higher risk to global businesses than supply chain disruption, political upheaval or natural catastrophes.

Connectivity brings opportunities, but also risks. Cybersecurity needs to be considered at a strategic level to ensure a coherent approach to threats that could outweigh the socio-economic gains of improved connectivity. A range measures can be taken to reduce cybersecurity risks; all require continuous, active engagement on the part of governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals – and resources.

Connectivity brings opportunities, but also risks. Cybersecurity needs to be considered at a strategic level to ensure a coherent approach to threats that could outweigh the socio-economic gains of improved connectivity. A range measures can be taken to reduce cybersecurity risks; all require continuous, active engagement on the part of governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals – and resources.

ISPs play a particularly crucial role in ensuring that their networks are sufficiently cybersecure. In January 2020, the World Economic Forum and its partners released high-level principles for ISPs to bear in mind when deploying network services, and these may also be relevant for last-mile connectivity deployments. The four principles are:

  1. Protect consumers by default from widespread cyberattacks and act collectively with peers to identify and respond to known threats;
  2. Take action to raise awareness and understanding of threats and support consumers in protecting themselves and their networks;
  3. Work more closely with manufacturers and vendors of hardware, software and infrastructure to increase minimum levels of security;
  4. Take action to shore up the security of routing and signaling to reinforce effective defence against attacks.

References

1 Information is beautiful, World’s Biggest Data Breaches & Hacks (last updated 11 May 2020). 2 J. Clement, Share of mobile internet traffic in selected countries 2020 (online article, Statista, 20 June 2020). 3 GSMA, op. cit., note 14. 4 Nokia, Threat Intelligence Report 2019. Available at https:// networks .nokia .com/ solutions/ threat -intelligence/ infographic. 5 Allianz, Allianz Risk Barometer 2020. Identifying the Major Business Risks for 2020 (2020). 6 World Economic Forum, Cybercrime Prevention – Principles for Internet Service Providers (Geneva, 2020).