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Research Report

Riding the digital wave: The impact of cyber capacity building on human development

Patryk Pawlak
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2014
Pages: 99
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-4)

    When the member states endorsed the EU Cybersecurity Strategy in June 2013, they expressed a wish for the Union to take a more active role in this highly dynamic, fast-moving policy area. Ever since, issues linked to the security of cyberspace have featured prominently in the media – in relation either to fresh attacks on government websites and services or to exciting opportunities created by new technologies. The importance of a flexible, open and secure digital environment for economic growth has also been recognised by the new President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who made the completion of a...

  2. (pp. 5-8)
    Patryk Pawlak

    As world leaders accelerate efforts to finalise a new catalogue of post-2015 development objectives, global internet usage continues to expand: almost three billion of the world’s population now uses online platforms to communicate, work, learn or access government services. It is not surprising, therefore, that the development community is pondering how to better leverage the benefits stemming from the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This exercise, however, will be futile if it is not accompanied by a serious discussion about the need to address risks posed by the proliferation of ICT infrastructure and internet applications for sustainable development....

  3. (pp. 9-17)

    A secure and safe digital environment is a necessary condition for reaping the benefits of ubiquitous access to the internet and the positive impact it has on human development. With the number of internet-connected devices expected to reach 15 billion by 2015, addressing the threats posed by malicious cyber activities is a clearly of paramount importance. The exponential growth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the transformation that this has wrought in all aspects of everyday life has resulted in the emergence of a broad policy community relying on these technologies. The Global Information Technology Report 2014 published by...

  4. (pp. 18-27)
    Neil Robinson

    The UN recognises that ICT connectivity is an increasingly important facet of social and economic development. In particular, the 2009 Report of the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force reflected on the persistence of the ‘digital divide’ between developed and developing countries and on the need to bridge this gap. However the world’s growing dependence on the internet has revealed the vulnerability of cyberspace to disruption and attack, and highlighted the importance of a coordinated response at national, regional and global levels.

    There is a range of instruments available at national level for addressing cyber threats and risks to critical...

  5. (pp. 28-42)
    Maria Grazia Porcedda

    The internet and its World Wide Web have gradually become a platform facilitating economic, social and human development beyond the developed world. According to the United Nations’ 2013 Human Development Report, internet connectivity is growing at a rapid rate throughout the world: 30% a year in 60 developing countries in the last decade. Such tremendous growth, often enabled by the parallel spread of mobile devices, contributes to empowering people across the globe by increasing their access to knowledge and services as well as supporting entrepreneurship and participation. To cite but one example, Digital Bangladesh – a national initiative to use...

  6. (pp. 43-51)
    Elena Kvochko

    Pervasive digitisation, open and interconnected technology environments, and sophisticated attackers, among other drivers, mean that the risk from major cyber events could significantly slow the pace of technological innovation over the coming decade. Many leaders in business, civil society and government realise that for the world’s economy to fully derive the value inherent in technological innovation, a robust, coordinated system of global cyber resilience is essential to effectively mitigate the risks of cyberattacks. This view is beginning to permeate discussions among senior leaders in the private and public sectors, and across different industries, as concerns related to cyber resilience shift...

  7. (pp. 52-60)
    Enrico Calandro and Patryk Pawlak

    The importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for development was acknowledged at the World Summits on the Information Society that took place in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005). At both meetings it was recognised that the diffusion of new technologies opens new possibilities of empowerment for the poor by providing them with access to various services such as banking and health information, which otherwise they would have difficulty accessing. The focus on the contribution that the internet and ICT make to growth and jobs creation around the world – largely attested in the Millennium Development Goals – has become...

  8. (pp. 61-71)
    Patryk Pawlak

    Several policy areas have substantially benefited from the rollout of ICT in the past decade. So far, the main focus has been on ensuring the efficiency of those policies and on maximising their contribution to human development and economic growth. More recently, however, there has been an increasing emphasis on addressing digital security risks as a precondition for the overall success of investments in the development of ICT infrastructure and other projects with an ICT component. The risks vary from attacks targeting individuals (i.e. phishing, mobile spoofing) to more sophisticated threats against society at large (i.e. attacks on critical infrastructure,...