BitSight, the Standard in Security Ratings, has announced its intention to contribute to Partner2Connect Digital Coalition to help Least Developed Countries (LDCs) accelerate improvements in their country’s cybersecurity posture and reduce the cyber capacity gap. This contribution will be implemented in the framework of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) project Cyber for Good.
LDCs have historically lacked the resources and skills to properly identify and manage cybersecurity risks. The need to address this gap continues to grow more critical as the global economy becomes more technology-centered and cyber-risk becomes more sophisticated and ubiquitous. According to BitSight, while developed countries’ national cybersecurity performance has steadily improved since 2017, LDC cybersecurity performance has declined over the same timeframe; in 2020, LDCs had 46% lower BitSight security ratings than developed countries.
“I welcome this Partner2Connect pledge by BitSight to bridge the cyber capacity gap in the Least Developed Countries,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Through this contribution, LDCs will access useful resources to identify their cyber vulnerabilities and take targeted steps to lower their cyber risks.”
This pledge towards Partner2Connect will provide LDCs with free access to the BitSight Critical National Infrastructure solution for a full year. The solution will let LDCs monitor their critical infrastructure, such as electric utilities, water systems and emergency services, so they can better protect themselves from cyber threats.
“With advanced data tools, LDCs can immediately establish a better understanding of the risks their organizations face and how to manage them,” said Steve Harvey, BitSight’s chief executive officer. “By helping these countries improve their cybersecurity stature, we are creating a more secure global environment. We are proud to partner with the ITU on this critical initiative to improve global cyber capacity.”
Botswana, an early participant of the program, has already seen improvements in its national cybersecurity capacity. Head of Botswana CIRT (BwCIRT) Emmanuel Thekiso noted, “Before using the BitSight tool, the Botswana CIRT team did not have any tool in place to measure the cybersecurity posture in the country. The BitSight tool has a large footprint on the public internet for observing traffic and makes efforts to ensure accurate data. The platform is easy to use and provides fantastic summary reporting related to security which is easy for management and the Board to understand. It provides valuable, objective and comparable data, which can drive better risk-based decisions across different stages of vendor risk management life-cycle.”
Eswatini, another early program participant, has similarly seen improvements. Eswatini Communications Commission IT Engineer Nokuthula Hlophe commented, “BitSight is a great tool that has given Eswatini visibility of the country’s cyber risks, helping the country make informed decisions and improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture as a whole. The tool is non-intrusive with no requirement for any hardware. The dashboards are easy to navigate and compliment internal vulnerability applications. Improving the threat landscape for any country requires a concerted effort from different stakeholders and BitSight offers just that.”