Computer users in South Eastern Europe may want to review their digital security after new research revealed they are the most vulnerable to cyber crime.
Website Builder Expert (WBE), a leading online resource for small businesses looking to get online, has conducted research investigating just how vulnerable the EU is to cybercrime and found that residents in many countries may be at more risk than they realise.
Taking into account a range of factors including previous encounters with cybercrime, malware encounter rates, commitment to cybersecurity initiatives, and how exposed each country’s internet connections are, the findings reveal that Malta is the EU nation most at risk of cybercrime with a vulnerability score of 42%.
Despite ranking in the middle of the pack for malware and cybercrime encounters, it was Malta’s high percentage of exposed internet connection ports (73% of all ports), lack of cybersecurity legislation and poor international co-operation that pushed it to the top of the vulnerability index.
This means that Malta’s population, despite encountering cybercrime slightly less than their European neighbours, are actually at far more risk in the long run with few protective or preventative measures in place.
On the opposite end of the scale, Finland was deemed the most cyber-secure country with a vulnerability rating of just 29%. This was down to the fact that the Nordic country has one of the lowest cybercrime encounter rates in Europe and is one of the most prepared nations too, second only to the UK.
Estonia emerged as a close contender to Finland in terms of cybersecurity with its vulnerability score of 30% reflecting changes made to government security strategies, legal frameworks and organisations in response to statewide cyberattacks in 2007.
Surprisingly, the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal ranked among the most vulnerable nations. Spain in particular was found to have a shockingly high proportion of internet connections exposed to potential threats (76%) as well as a very middling commitment to cybersecurity legislation and initiatives.
James Kiernan, Director of WBE comments: “With the threat of cybercrime becoming more evident with each passing day, cybersecurity on an international level is more important than ever if countries want to protect their interests and residents. While it is reassuring to see countries such as the UK and Germany among the safer nations, the level of cyber-vulnerability across Europe is still cause for alarm, especially in the wake of June’s massive cyberattack.”
|Cybercrime vulnerability score|