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Home : ITU-D : ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division : Publications

ITU-D ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division Publications

CYB Publications


IMPACT (International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats)

On 8th September 2011, IMPACT has formally become the cybersecurity executing arm of the United Nations’ (UN) specialised agency -International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in a landmark agreement that was signed during the World Summit for Information Society 2011 (WSIS) Forum in Geneva, May 2011. IMPACT is tasked by ITU with the responsibility of providing cybersecurity assistance and support to ITU’s 193 Member States and also to other organisations within the UN system. The Memorandum of Agreement was officially signed by ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré and Datuk Mohd Noor Amin, Chairman of IMPACT at the ITU’s head office in Geneva. Founded in 1865, ITU is the oldest organisation within the UN system and functions as the UN’s specialised agency for information and communication technologies. IMPACT’s involvement with ITU began in 2008 when it was chosen as the physical home of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA). The GCA is an international cybersecurity framework that was formulated following deliberations by more than 100 leading experts worldwide. The GCA contains many recommendations, which when adopted and appropriately implemented, would result in improved cybersecurity for the global community of nations. Through a Memorandum of Understanding inked back in 2008, ITU made IMPACT the physical home of the GCA and had tasked IMPACT with the responsibility to operationalise the various initiatives under the GCA. In addition to this, during the 2011 WSIS Forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between ITU and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which will see IMPACT playing a pivotal role in supporting both organisations in their collaboration to assist UN member states mitigate risks posed by cybercrime. IMPACT’s Global Response Centre (GRC) acts as the foremost cyber threat resource centre for the global community and provides emergency responses to facilitate identification of cyber threats and sharing of resources to assist ITU-UNODC Member States. Since its establishment back in 2008, IMPACT serves as a politically-neutral platform which brings together governments, industry and the academia to enhance the global community’s capabilities in dealing with cyber threats. [Continue reading about this document]

M-Government: Mobile Technologies for Responsive Governments and Connected Societies (ITU, OECD 2011)

This report aims to foster a better understanding on how to leverage the economic and social impacts of the use of mobile technologies and applications to enable ubiquitous governments, sustain public sector innovation and transform public service delivery. The report is a joint-product of the collaboration of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). [Continue reading about this report.]


Innovative ways of appropriating mobile telephony in Africa

The democratization of mobile telephony in Africa, its availability, ease of use and, above all, the extent to which it has been appropriated by the public, have made it a major success story. Very low-income populations are not only actively demanding access to mobile telephone services but also innovating, by creating the functions and applications they can use. Development is thus happening “from the bottom up” and an entire economy, both formal and informal in nature, has come into being to meet people’s needs. Many different actors – private, public, NGOs – are now mobilized. Operators and manufacturers have successfully changed their economic model and adapted their products and applications to allow access to services at affordable prices. NGOs have in addition created a range of messaging- based services in different sectors. However, the future evolution of mobile telephony is not clear. A range of different approaches will co-exist, from SMS up to full Internet capacity, including experimental initiatives using smart phones and “netbooks”. Falling costs will lead to an increase in the number of phone devices with data receiving capacity. Individuals and companies involved in creating services or applications for development will need to take account of their users’ demographics and incomes, as well as the pricing systems of telecommunication companies in countries where they wish to operate. In this, States and regulating authorities have grasped the crucial role which they must play in promoting an investment-friendly environment with the goal of achieving universal access and stimulating innovation – key factors in achieving a “critical mass” of users. This report takes stock of developments in this sector, which is crucial to Africa’s economic development, and suggests a number of possible directions it might take. ... [Continue reading about this report.]

National e-Strategies for Development, Global Status and Perspectives, 2010

The report National e-Strategies for Development, Global Status and Perspectives, 2010 is a publication in the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the WSIS’s Tunis phase and the adoption of the Tunis Agenda for Information Society. The Report reviews the progress in the elaboration of comprehensive, forward-looking and sustainable national e-strategies, and makes recommendations on policies and measures. This includes ICT strategies and sectoral e-strategies as an integral part of national development plans and poverty reduction strategies, as was called for by the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society... [Continue reading about this report.]

Electronic Government for Developing Countries

The purpose of this report is to examine the adoption of e-Government services in countries with developing economies. The day-to-day business of government is built on information. Information is a critical resource that helps to ensure the accountability of government, enables governments to manage its operations, and allows the public to participate in the governance of their country. With the revolutionary changes that ICTs are bringing to our global society, governments worldwide continue to develop more sophisticated ways to digitize its routines and practices so that they can offer the public access to government services in more effective and efficient ways. Across the world, 173 of 190 countries use the Internet to deliver government services. These activities are broadly referred to as digital government, which is an "umbrella term that comprises all uses of information and telecommunication technologies in the public sector" (Garson p. 18). E-Government focuses on the utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT) to deliver government services. E-Government is part of other closely related efforts in digital government. This report examines e-Government, although some examples could be regarded as e-governance initiatives... [Continue reading about this report.]

ICTs and e-Environment

This report, ICTs and e-Environment, reviews key ICT trends and provides an overview of the impact that ICTs have on the environment and climate change as well as their role in helping mankind to mitigate and adapt to these changes. The report approaches the issues from a development perspective and is based on consultations with key actors and extensive online research. The ICTs and e-Environment report documents current activities and initiatives and makes a set of recommendations for strengthening the capacity of developing countries to make beneficial use of ICTs to mitigate and adapt to environmental change, including climate change. [Continue reading about this document.]

ITU National Cybersecurity/CIIP Self-Assessment Tool

Information infrastructures have long been subject to national policies, procedures and norms. National government agencies and institutions exist to implement and oversee these activities, and the responsibility for the operation and management of information infrastructures has traditionally been shared among government, owners and operators, and users. Protection of the information infrastructure (formerly the PSTN network) has been a longstanding concern of member states and the work of the ITU is testimony to this concern. However, the use of information systems and networks and the entire information technology environment have changed dramatically in recent years. These continuing changes offer significant advantages but also require a much greater emphasis on security by government, businesses, other organizations and individual users who develop, own, provide, manage, service and use information systems and networks (“participants”). Increasing interconnectivity, the growing intelligence at the edges of the network, and the expanding role of information infrastructures in the economic and social life of a nation demand a new look at existing measures for the enhancement of cybersecurity... [Continue reading this document.]

ITU Botnet Mitigation Toolkit

'Botnets', or as the media calls them, 'Zombie Armies' or 'Drone Armies', and their associated malware have grown over the years into a multimillion dollar criminal economy, a risk to government, critical infrastructure, industry, civil society and to the broader Internet community.

Botnets are coordinated groups of several thousand computing devices (such as PCs, laptops and even the new generation of mobile devices such as 'smartphones'), all infected with the same virus or other malware. Their collective computing power and Internet connectivity is harnessed into a collective whole and remote controlled for the performance of malicious and criminal activities.

Botnets are an illegal and unethical application of the concept of Distributed Systems, which has existed since at least 1970, in which multiple computing devices cooperate to achieve an integrated result... [Continue reading about this toolkit.]

Other Publications


ITU Publication on Understanding Cybercrime: A Guide for Developing Countries 

As cyber-threats can originate anywhere around the globe, the challenges are inherently international in scope and it is desirable to harmonize legislative norms as much as possible to facilitate regional and international cooperation. To assist countries in understanding the links between cybersecurity, the building of confidence and security in the use of ICTs, and cybercrime, ITU has developed, and is in the process of developing, a number of tools. One such tool, which ITU has developed together with an expert, is the ITU publication titled “Understanding Cybercrime: A Guide for Developing Countries”. The Guide can serve to help developing countries better understand the implications related to the growing cyber-threats and assist in the assessment of the current legal framework and in the establishment of a sound legal foundation, if this does not yet exist.

DOWNLOAD the ITU Publication Understanding Cybercrime: A Guide for Developing Countries

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