With files from Howard Solomon

Canada is one of the top six most cyber secure countries in the world, according to Comparitech, a site that publishes consumer product reviews and guides.

The rankings released Tuesday suggests Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada and Finland are closely ranked at the top of the 72- country study. Countries at the bottom are Algeria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Syria and Iran.

“We found most countries’ scores improved since last year,” says a summary of the report. “But due to greater cybersecurity efforts from the majority of countries, this means some of the best performers from last year have dropped down the rankings.

This includes the U.S., which has dropped from the fifth most cyber-secure country to the 17th. Canada dropped from fifth to sixth.

However, the methodology of the rankings is based on several qualifications: For estimating specific numbers such as the percentage of computer malware infections, the survey uses data collected from users of Kaspersky security products for Q3 2019. The methodology doesn’t say how many or few users Kaspersky has in each country, meaning a low number of users could skew the data.

It also uses 2018 data from the International Telecommunications Union. And it gives a score for countries that have or don’t have privacy legislation. A country can have better security and no legislation.

Countries are ranked by reverse scoring, meaning the more points the worse the ranking. The top countries in the latest survey were Denmark (6.2 points), Sweden (8.4), Germany (9.39), Ireland (9.4), Japan (9.46) and Canada (10.2). Finland, the U.K., France and the Netherlands were close behind with scores in the 10 range.

Countries are scored in seven categories: percentage of mobiles infected with malware, percentage of users hit with financial malware attacks, percentage of computers infected with malware, percentage of Telnet attacks by originating country, percentage of attacks by cryptominers, level of preparation for attacks, and lastly, how up-to-date their legislation is.

Canada’s score in each category was as follows:

  • Percentage of mobiles infected with malware – 3.93 per cent
  • Percentage of users attacked by financial malware – 0.2 per cent
  • Percentage of computers infected with malware – 10.24 per cent
  • Percentage of telnet attacks by originating country – 0.45 per cent
  • Percentage of attacks by cryptominers – 0.28
  • Most prepared for cyber attacks – 0.892 out of 1.0
  • Most up-to-date legislation – 6 out of 7

A country’s dropping rank may not indicate a reduction in the quality of cybersecurity in the country, though. In a blog post, Comparitech’s Paul Bischoff wrote that a combination of 16 new countries were added to the study and previously low-ranked countries beginning to take cybersecurity much more seriously resulted in some countries with healthy cybersecurity practices to fall in the rankings.

This was all the more telling when one considers the fact that the top spot in every category but one was occupied by a different country from last year’s study.

The best scores in each category were:

  • Percentage of mobiles infected with malware – Finland (0.87 per cent)
  • Percentage of users attacked by financial malware – Denmark, Ireland, and Sweden (0.1 per cent)
  • Percentage of computers infected with malware – Denmark (3.15 per cent)
  • Percentage of telnet attacks by originating country – Turkmenistan (0 per cent)
  • Percentage of attacks by cryptominers – Japan (0.17 per cent)
  • Most prepared for cyber attacks – United Kingdom (0.931 out of 1.0)
  • Most up-to-date legislation – France, China, Russia, and Germany (7 out of 7)


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