We live in a precarious world where criminals and civilians co-exist without revealing who is who. However, the circular reasoning behind cybercrime cannot be deflected. Thanks to modern technology and free resources available on thousands of websites, anyone can learn to hack and become an expert in creating exploits within a few months of training. However, we do have some pillars in the industry seeking a centralized system to look beyond conventional cybersecurity and cultivate threat phenomena.
Dangers bloom on every street network, and the constant paranoia created by prolific threat groups can be daunting for businesses who work with data, or at least their survival depends on it. When the physical meets the meta-physical and creates real-world problems, we would need some resilience or some guarantee that our resources will only be used for the better of the world and the people or nature living in it.
Here are the top 10 world nations that are constantly on top the cyber preparedness chart, with a combination of responsible governments, consistently updated mitigation techniques, and state-of-the-art cyber hygiene practices that create a state of equanimity in the citizen’s minds.
Why is cybersecurity vital for every nation?
Security is a crucial factor in maintaining stability and modern democracy because a country’s security standing can determine its future and how it will perform in a state of chaos. It automatically depends on freedom and the sheer amount of willingness to fight against a threat; however, if a nation fails to do that, it automatically must depend on others to fight for them.
Before the world got digitized and everything shifted from papers to data sheets, the nations were focused on protecting themselves through guns, ammunition, soldiers, manpower, and physical weapons; with computers and electronics, the weapons transformed into malware, ransomware, and instead of using soldiers at the frontline, a big hoard of protective measures manifested in security companies and cybersecurity researchers.
Currently, if a country fails to adopt the new technology and lacks adequate resources to protect itself from cyberattacks, it could potentially result in an immediate takeover. In the worst-case scenario, their enemy nations would not think twice before depleting their resources and wealth.
Nation-on-nation cyberattacks are still prevalent, and we can see how a particular nation is moving forward to steal more resources from its foes every other day. The same goes for national cyber criminals who want to take advantage of the situation and steal information for personal benefit.
Top 10 most secure countries against cyberattacks
Cybersecurity has become a global threat, even though it was created to protect us from the dangers of the cyber world. Prolific hackers and their associates are using new technologies. They are working in corporate structures to inflict more damage on organizations and citizens worldwide, creating a sense of distress among business owners and citizens.
However, some countries are always at the forefront of these attacks, have strengthened their security practices, and are considered protected against them or at least ready for any upcoming threats. These countries are as follows:
Singapore has been at the forefront of cyberattacks in these last few years. The shift of focus from America and Europe has put Singapore in a tough spot. However, current statistics show that the Republic of Singapore is increasing at a CAGR of 15% in 2021. Researchers claim that Singapore will have a cybersecurity market at a CAGR of $889 million between 2022 and 2023.
On the bleak side of these numbers, the country still faces some severe attacks every month, and it has lost over S$633.3 million to scams between 2020 and 2021. The need and implementation of strict cybersecurity rules and mitigation have already begun in the country. Recently, Singapore launched its first inter-agency force to fight against the growing number of hackers and attacks in the country.
The Netherlands has been a partner and founding member of the European Union, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD, and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. Against the cryptic minds of hackers and ransomware gangs, the Netherlands has a robust infrastructure of information technology and cybersecurity capabilities. Being at the front of Europe’s overall wellness and security, the country has intergovernmental organizations and international courts providing aid to its partners, business, and the world against all threats.
According to the World Economic Forum, the Netherlands is the 6th technology-enabled country globally. It has been regarded as the most advanced nation regarding information technology and security. The government of the Netherlands has the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC that oversees digital security in the country and has been loaded with state-of-the-art provides resistant towards the
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) constantly provides aid to the citizens and business in countering internet crime. The agency works directly under the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) and the Netherlands government, posting it at the forefront of cybersecurity-related cases. With such a robust system, the Netherlands is the leading cybersecurity hub in Europe and is home to some of the biggest names in the security domains.
The Amsterdam region is home to approximately one-third of Europe’s data centers, with expansion spreading to Groningen and Middenmeer. In addition, The Hague is home to Europol’s European CyberCrime Center (EC3), NATO’s Communications and Information (NCI) Agency, and the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE).
The U.K. also forges ahead as one of the strongest contenders in the cybersecurity domain. It houses strict rules and regulations over data breaches and has advisory boards on government and non-government levels. According to Anglo-Bermudan insurance provider Hiscox, the average U.K. cybersecurity budget is around $900,000, and the industry follows a tried and tested plan for reporting incidents.
In a standardized setting, 65% of the CISOs in the U.K. report to the CIO, while 12% of companies say that their CISOs are peers to the CIO. Since the world is moving towards a safer internet, the U.K. has also been active in the international space for fighting internet-based crimes. With new and advanced technologies at their disposal, the U.K. successfully stopped 43% of the ransomware attack, according to the Sophos State of Ransomware Report 2022.
According to the U.K. Government Cyber Security Strategy 2022–2030 report, the government has invested £2.6 billion in the cyber and legacy I.T. sectors, which are directly related to cybersecurity.
More than 30% of U.K. organizations have done cyber risk management in the last 12 months, and 57% of companies in the U.K. have robust cybersecurity incident response processes in place, while the global figure is only 33%, says the Ponemon Institute.
Sweden is another European nation that has been actively participating in global cybersecurity affairs and has been one of the latest Nordic states to become the national cybersecurity center. With the Swedish Protective Security Act, the nation becomes the hub of research and planning as the growing concerns in Europe increase and more threat actors with intentions far greater than a few million dollars exceed the region’s threat expectations.
The Swedish government has increased its cyber defenses and appointed several major security institutions to form the Swedish National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) branch. The Swedish government’s latest initiative, “Swedish National Cyber Security Centre,” focuses on national cyber security policies and attack mitigation and advises companies on ransomware, malware, and other types of attack types.
The NCSC works in line with the U.K.’s arm of the agency and is managed by the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) and the National Defence Radio Establishment, aka Signals Intelligence (Signit) branch of the SAF.
Since 2020, Sweden has slowly become the target of scammers and hackers, which has challenged the nation to uplift its cybersecurity interest and perspective. Since then, the country has been continuously evaluating its cybersecurity posture to handle data breaches and fight against threat actors targeting the nation for a long time.
Sweden is working towards strengthening its cybersecurity posture to counter the ongoing cyberattacks in the nations and all over Europe. Experts believe Sweden’s cybersecurity market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 6.5% between 2022 and 2027.
Ireland boasts over 6,000+ cybersecurity professionals and has one of the strongest upload and mitigation techniques against threat actors. The nation stands tall with a strong pool of highly skilled individuals and companies that foster its security, making it one of Europe’s most technically secured nations.
According to reports, the European nation holds over 40 multinational companies, which are proliferating, and over 60 indigenous cyber-security companies and startups have supported companies from all over the world. Today, the country stands at the forefront of cybersecurity, and businesses worldwide are moving toward Ireland’s resources to protect their data and customers from hackers.
According to Pat O’Grady, Global Lead for Cyber-security at Enterprise Ireland, the three main reasons for Ireland’s success are its talented team of cybersecurity professionals who work 24/7 to protect the data of companies and agents associated with them. The second trait that makes the Republic of Ireland a strong contender in cybersecurity is innovation and continuous testing of products and servers by a trained team of pen testers backed by Ireland’s government.
As for its last trait, Pat O’Grady says that trust plays a crucial role for both parties. Since Ireland already has a sophisticated system for tracking hackers and protecting data, companies and businesses can depend on the country for better success in fighting against hackers.
Ireland is a prominent global cyber-security center.” It is home to more than 50 world-class cyber-security firms, and as a result, it has become a worldwide hub of cyber talent,” he says.
This cyber-security prowess stems from what he refers to as the country’s “successful triple helix ecosystem,” which is centered on bringing together business, academia, and government to collaborate on specific goals. One such goal in Ireland was to develop a world-class cyber-security cluster.
It resulted in the development of Cyber Ireland, an overarching organization sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and businesses that brings together industry, academia, and government to reflect the needs of Ireland’s cybersecurity ecosystem.
Ireland’s educational system also contributes, offering second and third-level training in computer science and cybersecurity. In addition to dedicated cybersecurity degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels, the subject is embedded as a module in various other programs.
According to O’Grady, Ireland is a deeply trusted country with an international reputation for military neutrality and a recognized track record in supporting international peace and collaboration. This helped it establish itself as a prominent European location for data hosting facilities.
“The most demanding worldwide customers entrust their cyber-security to Irish consultancy, managed services, and technology firms,” he says. Right now, the world requires dependable solutions from dependable sources.
United States of America
The United States has long been a world leader in cybersecurity, but the past few years have seen a dramatic increase in the number and severity of cyberattacks. In response, the U.S. government has prioritized cybersecurity, investing billions of dollars in research and development and establishing new agencies and initiatives to protect critical infrastructure and data.
Despite these efforts, however, the U.S. remains vulnerable to cyberattacks. This is partly due to the country’s reliance on outdated technology and the fact that many individuals and businesses need to take proper precautions against cyber threats. As attacks become more sophisticated and destructive, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve cybersecurity in the USA.
The United States has the highest willingness to data and cybersecurity, based on the Global Cyber Security Index. In 2019, government I.T. expenditure amounted to 88 billion U.S. dollars; by 2021, this figure is expected to surpass 92 billion.
Regarding budget allocation, the Department of Defense is the primary recipient of federal cybersecurity spending. The agency protects the United States from offline and online attacks.
The DoD’s latest cyber strategy doctrine lays down its four main cyber goals that are always kept at the fingertips of all cybersecurity professionals while acting as the first course of action against threat actors. These core values include:
- Creating and sustaining forces for cyberspace operations.
- Preparing to secure and defend DoD data.
- Getting ready for disruptive and catastrophic cyberattacks.
- Including cyber alternatives and partnerships in planning.
Looking at the volume and scale of data breaches in the United States over the last few years, the focus of authorities and the whole attention shift seems more logical. According to Federal agencies, the U.S. reported 13,107 cybersecurity incidents in 2018, and these numbers have only gone up in the last four years.
2015 saw one of the biggest data breaches in the USA, where hackers stole data from a U.S. voter database. Within the next year of the breach, it was found that the government was responsible for 5.6 percent of data breaches and 2.1 percent of all exposed records.
As the Covid-19 outbreak puts the United States voting system to the test, internet voting has become a contentious subject among party officials and business experts. While many voters think the Russian government was responsible for hacking into DNC systems and exposing emails in 2016, others are concerned that inadequate security measures may have a similar influence on the next 2020 election. It has to be seen how and where digital alternatives to polling places will be offered and the system’s vulnerability to hackers.
Denmark is a small country with a big reputation for cybersecurity. The government has been a leader in implementing security measures to defend against cyber-attacks. Danish companies and researchers are at the forefront of developing new ways to protect digital systems and data. The Danish government has also been proactive in establishing national policies and regulations to ensure the safety of its citizens and businesses in the digital age.
As the threat of cyber-attacks grows, Denmark is working hard to stay one step ahead. The country’s commitment to cybersecurity is evident in its research and development investment and cooperation with international partners. Denmark is also a member of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which helps countries share information and best practices for protecting against cyber threats. With its strong track record in cybersecurity, Denmark is well-positioned to continue playing a leading role in keeping our digital world safe.
A new study by the security research firm Comparitech believes that Denmark is probably one of the most internet-safe countries in the world. The study evaluated 76 countries and the types of attacks they face regularly. It ranked Denmark based on its preparedness for cyberattacks and awareness of hacking and data breaches.
The Danish National Strategy for Cyber- and Information Security 2018-2021 is the country’s plan for establishing a digitally safe society. Six specific initiatives have also been created to strengthen cyber and information security in vital industries, including telecommunications, finance, energy, healthcare, transportation, and marine.
As digital devices and online services become increasingly commonplace, so does the need for effective cybersecurity. In Canada, the public and private sectors have been working to bolster their cybersecurity defenses in recent years, with mixed results.
According to a recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures, Canada is the seventh most targeted country in the world regarding cyberattacks. This is likely due partly to the fact that it has many large companies and organizations with valuable data and a relatively high internet and device usage level.
While there have been some successes in terms of cybersecurity in Canada – such as the creation of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security – there is still much work to be done. For instance, a recent study by Symantec found that Canadian businesses are lagging in implementing basic security measures such as two-factor authentication.
There is no doubt that cybersecurity is a complex and ever-evolving challenge, but it is one that Canada has control over and is ready to face head-on for any threat coming its way. This challenge and continuous testing help protect Canadian citizens’ data and offer a better platform for business growth in the country.
Today, Canada is one of the most technology-savvy nations, and Canadian citizens spend the most time online per capita of any country, about 43.5 hours per Canadian each month. Canada also has a world-class cyber threat mitigation setup that provides aid to business supply chains to the essential infrastructure that sustains their economy and society.
The Canadian government has introduced some new measures and methods that bring immediate control over data breaches in the country. Among the new measures includes these:
- Funding for the new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security to support leadership and collaboration among multiple levels of government and foreign partners.
- They are providing Canadian residents and businesses with a plain and trustworthy resource.
- The National Cyber Crime Coordination Unit helps increase the RCMP’s authority to mitigate and investigate cybercrime properly.
- They are making Canada a cybersecurity hub of domestic and international partners.
- Government and international funding for innovation, economic growth, and development of Canadian cyber talent.
France is a country with a long history of engaging in international conflict. In recent years, this has taken the form of cyber-attacks against other countries’ critical infrastructure. As a result, cybersecurity is a major concern for the French government.
The French government has taken several steps to improve its cybersecurity posture. In 2015, it created the National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI), which is responsible for coordinating its cybersecurity efforts. ANSSI works with businesses and individuals to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats and help them protect themselves.
In addition to ANSSI, the French government has also established a number of other initiatives to improve its cybersecurity. These include the development of a national cybersecurity strategy, creating a ministerial department devoted to cybersecurity, and launching a public-private partnership on cybersecurity research and development.
Despite these efforts, France remains vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In 2016, for example, a ransomware attack called “Petya” crippled parts of the country’s infrastructure. The French government is aware of these vulnerabilities and is working to mitigate them.
As one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japan is no stranger to cybersecurity threats. In recent years, the country has been hit by several high-profile cyber-attacks, including the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 and the Petya/NotPetya malware attack in 2018. As a result, the Japanese government has been beefing up its cybersecurity defenses and has launched several initiatives to raise awareness about online security risks.
One such initiative is the Cybersecurity Strategy for Japan, launched in 2016. The Strategy includes several measures to improve cybersecurity in the country, such as establishing a national center for cybersecurity information sharing and cooperation and increasing investment in research and development for new security technologies. The government has also been working with the private sector to promote best practices in cybersecurity and has set up a program to certify companies that meet specific standards for data protection.
With more and more businesses moving online, it is crucial for companies operating in Japan to ensure that their data and systems are adequately protected against cyber threats. By investing in robust cybersecurity measures, businesses can safeguard their interests and contribute to making the internet a safer place for everyone.