There are innumerable ways that cybercrime differs from country to country, but there are also certain factors that can be observed internationally, such as instances of phishing and data breaches.
The SEON Global Cybercrime Report looks at how each country can be rated for its levels of cyber safety and consolidates the data of various security authorities to conclude how each country fares in its attempts to remain safe in the digital world.
Indeed, the digital frontier that we enjoy today opens up a world of risk as well as opportunity. With everyone on the planet just a click of a button away, it has never been easier for fraudsters and other criminals to find unsuspecting victims.
This has led to a booming new province for the criminally-minded, who can attack innocent internet users from the comfort and security of their own homes.
In fact, the remote working and isolation seen in the COVID lockdowns of 2020 have bolstered the landscape for cyberattacks, which have played a significant role in worsening the security of online software and financial systems – all of which has led to a new decade of increased economic uncertainty.
The threat isn’t limited to individuals either, with governments and multinational corporations also in the cybercriminals’ crosshairs.
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) tracks these cyber attacks on government bodies, defense agencies, and high-tech companies, as well as economic crimes that amount to a loss of at least $1 million.
CSIS reported that in January 2023, a joint advisory warning was issued from three US-based cybersecurity authorities – the CISA, NSA (National Security Agency), and MS-ISAC (Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center) – about the increase in phishing and other attacks against civilian branches of the US Government.
To counteract these increasing cyber threats, countries have been developing strong cybersecurity programs and enacting legislation aimed at tackling cybercrime and protecting themselves from digital dangers.
In addition to this, the private sector has been at the forefront of developing innovative cybersecurity solutions ranging from antivirus programs to dedicated fraud prevention software.
For instance, businesses can vastly reduce risk by utilising anti-fraud products such as data enrichment and browser fingerprinting to block suspicious logins, prevent account takeovers, and detect when someone is using multiple accounts.
While the combination of public and private sector efforts to tame the digital Wild West has made it more difficult for online fraudsters in some respects, cybercrime remains a persistent threat for internet users.
But what are the most common forms of cybercrime? And is this threat spread equally around the globe?
To find out if the dangers of cybercrime are equally spread across the globe we’ve taken a look at 93 countries to see what geolocations have fraud peaks, which have valleys, and why.
Combining data from three major cybersecurity authorities, namely the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI) (updated on a live basis), the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) (2020), and the Cybersecurity Exposure Index (CEI) (2020), we’ve created a global ranking to present the ten countries that are, respectively, the least and most risky for internet users.
The results have been determined by finding the cybersecurity scores, all three of which needed to be expressed as percentages, of the NCSI, GCI, and CEI – and assigned each of those scores to the 93 countries that we’ve reported on. We then calculated the mean average of those two scores for each of the said countries. This mean average of the NCSI, GCI, and CEI’s total scores is what we refer to here as the Cyber-Safety Score.
Here are the top ten most low-risk and top ten most high-risk countries based on this scoring system.
The top 10 lowest-risk countries for cyber threats
These are the countries where cybersecurity is strongest, and people are most protected from cybercrime through legislation and technology.
The top 10 highest-risk countries for cyber threats
At the other end of the scale are the countries that offer the least protection against cybercrime. These countries have very weak legislation regarding cybercrime – or even none at all – and therefore carry the greatest risk when processing sensitive transactions. Here we’ve listed the ten countries with the lowest overall Cyber-Safety Score.
“Many countries have now developed strong cybersecurity programs and are enacting more effective legislation specifically aimed at tackling this evolving and significant issue. In doing so, these nations are better protecting themselves, as well as the individuals and businesses that operate out of them from digital dangers, offering security at a time of critical need,” comments Jimmy Fong, Chief Commercial Officer at SEON.
“Conversely, there are still many countries that lack either the infrastructure, or desire to tackle this challenge with the intensity it requires. By highlighting this variance, SEON is helping to raise awareness around regions where internet users are most at risk.
More broadly, our report highlights that the monetary consequences of cyber threats remain too high globally, reaffirming the need to continue to prioritise this issue in the coming years.”
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