Voice of the Industry

Cybercrime is everywhere: How safe is your country?

Wednesday 22 December 2021 08:19 CET | Editor: Simona Negru | Voice of the industry

Weighted meta-analysis of key cybercrime indices by fraud-fighting company SEON casts light on who’s safer and who’s at most risk, – yet companies even in the safest countries need to remain vigilant and proactive, stresses Gergo Varga, Senior Content Manager at SEON

Released in late October, a new cybercrime report conducts meta-analysis on the findings of four leading cybersecurity-related indices, factoring in national legislation to calculate each country’s individual ‘Cyber-Safety Score’, giving a 360-degree view of the digital fraud, scam, and crime landscape.

94 countries were examined, with their scores comprising the Global Cyber-Safety Index, which reports on the dangers of cybercrime around the globe. It is a look into which countries are performing better than others as regards keeping their citizens, businesses, organisations, and authorities safe from deceitful, illegal, and malicious attacks that take place online.

‘All four of the indices we consulted are highly regarded in our field’, explains Gergo Varga, former fraud analyst and now Senior Content Manager at SEON. ‘But each of these has its own specialised areas of focus. We wanted to glean a more holistic picture of the cyberfraud and cybercrime landscape, and we also thought legislation is really important when the question is “Where is safer?”.’

The ranking including individual scores

Topping the rankings is Denmark, with 8.91 out of 10, Germany at number 2 with 8.76, and behind it the USA, taking the bronze with 8.73. Norway ranks at number four, with a score of 8.46; ever so slightly behind is the UK, a close fifth with 8.44 out of a maximum of 10 Cyber-Safety points. In general terms, higher is better: the higher a country has ranked, the lower the risk of someone falling victim to cybercrime in that country. Other countries that fared well include Japan, Sweden, Australia, most of Europe, and Israel.

Those countries found to be at the highest risk from cyberthreats are on the other end of the spectrum. They were found to be lacking in legislation to both protect from and punish cybercrime. A country recently plagued by upheaval is Myanmar, which came last with just 2.22 out of 10. The performance of Cambodia, Honduras, Bolivia, and Mongolia was also poor. In the Old Continent, the worst performer is Bosnia and Herzegovina at number 86, partially owing to an extremely low National Cybersecurity Index score.

Gergo Varga suggests that ‘It’s important to state that even those at the very top are never completely safe from cybercrime, which remains a very real and ever-advancing threat throughout the world, for companies and individuals. Consider the US: despite taking the bronze in SEON’s Cyber-Safety Index, it still reported over 241,000 cases of phishing and pharming in 2020, as well as 108,869 counts of non-delivery/non-payment fraud, among other cybercrimes. Meanwhile, known data breaches in the same year exposed 155.8 million records in the US alone’. 

What matters in Cyber-Safety? 

So, how did the UK and the rest of the top five manage to perform so much better than the rest? ‘The primary reason they rank well is that they are taking wide-ranging measures to thwart cybercriminals, scammers, and fraudsters. And it’s also about collaboration, with the private and public sector working hand in hand, including legislators and researchers’, explains Gergo. 

Looking more closely at the UK’s performance, it is helped by the almost perfect score of 99.54 out of 100 in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 and a good rating of 77.92 in the National Cybersecurity Index. The Cyber Legislation Rating calculated by the researchers is also markedly higher than most of the world, while the government continues to introduce new legislation, with smart devices being their latest focus point. Moving forward, we might want to take a look into our cybersecurity exposure (calculated by the CEI – Cybersecurity Exposure Index), as well as be more vigilant when it comes to anti-money laundering law, since there is still room for improvement in our AML performance.  

To conduct this analysis, the researchers at SEON took into account all the aforementioned indices: NCI, GCI, AML Index, CEI, as well as looked at anti-cybercrime legislation. ‘Each of these important indices represents a different side of dealing with cyberthreats and keeping safe from fraud, scams, and crime. We brought them together by converting all these scores into a single, equally-weighted score out of ten: the Cyber-Safety Score. However, there is no room for complacency, no matter how well a country has ranked. We ought to find inspiration in those who fared better, as well as in the impressive tech at our disposal, and remain vigilant – because the criminals are doing the same.’

About Gergo Varga 

Gergo Varga has been fighting online fraud since 2009 at various companies – even co-founding his own anti-fraud startup. He's the author of the Fraud Prevention Guide for Dummies – SEON Special edition. He currently works as the Senior Content Manager/Evangelist at SEON, using his industry knowledge to keep marketing sharp, communicating between the different departments to understand what's happening on the frontlines of fraud detection. Gergo lives in Budapest, Hungary, and is an avid reader of philosophy and history.

About SEON

SEON reduces risk and boosts conversions for highly targeted verticals such as banking, lending, FX, crypto trading, iGaming, and ecommerce. SEON’s innovative tools let you decide how you integrate fraud prevention into your platform, either as individual modules for multi-layered security, or as a whole end-to-end system.

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Keywords: cybersecurity, fraud prevention, scam, AML, cybercrime
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime

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