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Should you worry? 100 countries ranked by cyber safety

Online criminals pose a danger to anyone with access to the internet. Some, however, are better prepared to combat online crime than others.

Just in the last six months, cyber-attacks have increased by 29% as threat actors continuously exploit the pandemic. Groups that employ ransomware tactics have entered a golden age, with the use of extortion growing at a breakneck pace of 93% in less than a year.

Nation-states around the world, however, do not stand idle. Multilateral efforts help push some ransomware gangs offline, while cybersecurity programs empower businesses and organizations to counteract threats looming on the dark side of the internet.

A fraud detection company, SEON, has taken a look at 100 countries to see how much their citizens need to worry about cybercrime. To get to the bottom of the issue, researchers analyzed data from numerous cybersecurity indices and indicators.

SEON cross-referenced rankings on national cybersecurity measures with rankings on online money laundering, risks internet users face, and strength of national legislation meant to prevent cybercrime. To rank the countries in an orderly fashion, researchers assigned each nation a score.

The ranking has put Denmark on the top of the list of countries where cybersecurity is the strongest and citizens are most protected from online crime via technology and legislation. Germany took the silver medal, while the US took third place.

While Denmark might seem the odd one of the group, Germany and US are of particular interest to cybercriminals due to a wealth of businesses and highly connected population. Preventing cybercrime with legislation and technology, therefore, is somewhat of a necessity.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Myanmar was awarded the lowest score in terms of cybersecurity. According to the researchers, there's little to no legislation concerning online crime. Cambodia scarcely tops Myanmar and Honduras. The latter trails low in terms of all criteria, apart from the legislative side of cybersecurity.

Cyberattacks are increasing in scale, sophistication, and scope. The last 12 months were ripe with major high-profile cyberattacks, such as the SolarWinds hack, attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, meat processing company JBS, and software firm Kaseya. Pundits talk of a ransomware gold rush, with the number of attacks increasing over 90% in the first half of 2021 alone.

An average data breach costs victims $4.24 million per incident, the highest in the 17 years. For example, the average cost stood at $3.86 million per incident last year, putting recent results at a 10% increase.

Reports show that people most vulnerable to cybercrime tend to be adults over 75 and younger adults. Criminals were taking advantage not only of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic but also the flood of new users to digital channels, who were especially susceptible to attack.

SEON table

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