Cybercrime is inevitable. No matter where you are, the odds are better than not that you’ll eventually be the victim of some strain of malware, affected by a data breach, or have a digital device compromised through any number of hacking methods.
When dealing with cybercrime on a national or global scale, the question is whether the target—be it a financial hack, a ransomware attack on critical infrastructure, or an attempt to disrupt election systems—is prepared for what needs to happen next.
Virtual private network (VPN) provider NordVPN aggregated threat-report data from Securelist, including Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) scores for cyberattack readiness. Developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), GCI scores countries’ cybersecurity readiness on a scale of 0.0-1.0 based on a composite of five key factors:
- Legal: Legal institutions and frameworks for dealing with cybersecurity and cybercrime.
- Technical: Technical institutions and frameworks dealing with cybersecurity.
- Organizational: Policy coordination institutions and strategies for cybersecurity development at the national level.
- Capacity Building: Research and development, education, and training programs; certified professionals, and public sector agencies dedicated to cybersecurity.
- Cooperation: Partnerships, cooperative frameworks, and information sharing networks.
Unsurprisingly, the countries that scored highest were those with more developed infrastructure and technical capabilities. In the top 10, Singapore scored highest at 0.925, followed by the US at 0.919 and Malaysia at 0.893. France and Canada round out the top five at 0.819 and 0.818, respectively.
Russia, Colombia, Japan, the UK, and Sweden also scored well. At the other end of the spectrum, some of the worst-prepared countries include Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Tanzania, Slovakia, and Peru.
Preparedness goes only so far. Cybercrime and large-scale (often nation-state-sponsored) cyberattacks are only growing in frequency and severity, and even with more sophisticated infrastructure in place, the businesses, governments, and organizations at highest risk are almost always playing catch-up and running damage control.