Countries with the best (blue) and worst (red) malware infection rates.[/caption]
It’s no secret that online security is a global problem. Businesses and government agencies are hacked, corporations, hospitals and individuals are held up with ransomware, credit card numbers and passwords are routinely stolen. Cybercrime is ubiquitous and unrelenting. How bad is it? Which countries are the most and least safe? Comparitech has created a well-designed infographic that answers these questions at a glance.
Comparitech is a “pro-consumer website providing information, tools and [product] comparison[s] to help consumers in the US, UK and further afield to research and compare tech services” related to internet security. The company created an informative infographic about cyber safety around the world based on data from Statista, the International Telecommunication Union, Freedom House and the UK’s Telegraph news organization.
China has the highest rate of malware infections (49%!) in the world; Sweden (19.88%) has the lowest. The worst three countries for malware infections are China, Taiwan and Turkey. The best are Sweden, Finland and Norway. The UK is the sixth best with a 23.38% infection rate. The US does not appear among either the best or worst top ten.
A number of sources have reported on the extensive and increasing ransomware threat. India leads the world in users (9.6%) who have suffered a ransomware attack. The US is the tenth worst country for ransomware attacks (1.41%). The UK did not make the top ten – a good thing – while Italy ranked fourth (5.25%) and Germany ranked fifth (4.26%).
In addition to the highest rate of malware infections, China is home to 29.56% of the world’s DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks. The US comes in second with 21.59% and the UK third with 16.17% of the world totals.
The US dominates the world’s-worst rankings in two categories. In 2013, more than half (54%) of the world’s cyber espionage attacks took place in the US. That was the year Edward Snowden hacked the NSA and revealed the extent to which the US government was spying on its citizens with the cooperation of telecommunications companies like Verizon.
The Snowden hack may have boosted the US’s percentage of espionage attacks in 2013 but events since then make it clear that the US continues to be a prime target for cyber espionage. The Office of Personnel Management hack in 2015 exposed financial and investment records, the names of children relatives, friends and neighbors, and histories of where people lived and which foreign countries they visited. Over 22 million people had their information stolen. The John Podesta hack of 2016 opened the Democratic National Committee’s servers to the Russians and possibly affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The US also leads the world in the percentage of web app hacks. Fully 66% of these attacks take place in the US, far outstripping any other country. Brazil and Germany come in tied for second with 5% of the world’s total apiece.
How much does all of this cost? The US bears most of the financial burden. The average cost of cybercrime to companies in the US is shown in the infographic at $17.36 million per year. Costs in other countries are not nearly as high. Japan ($8.39 million), Germany ($7.84m), the UK ($7.21m), Brazil ($5.27m) and Australia ($4.3m) are each hit for less than half the US total.
There’s a lot more information like this in Comparitech’s infographic. It’s worth checking out.
The infographic is entertaining, but Compatitech’s website is an exceptionally valuable resource for anyone interested in improving their own cyber security. The company tests and reviews consumer security products and services. In addition to reviews, their website has how-to articles, product comparisons, useful blog articles written for non-technical readers, and extensive resource lists on a variety of security topics. The resource lists alone are more than worth a visit to the website. It’s the most comprehensive and accessible website I’ve found to date for people who want to make informed and smart decisions about protecting themselves online.
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