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Rich nations have less malware

by on08 February 2013

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A special Security Intelligence Report released by Microsoft has found that the rate of malware infections was relatively lower in countries that were wealthy.

Apparently wealthier nations, like the US, tend to do a better job preventing malware infections, Microsoft found. The study, “Linking Cybersecurity Policy and Performance” looked at the links between rates of computer infections and a range of national characteristics including the relative wealth of a nation, observance of the rule of law and the rate of software piracy.

It looks like wealthier nations, especially in Europe, do a better job preventing malware infections than poorer and developing nations. Using data gathered from its Malicious Software Removal Tool and gathered from its global enterprise and consumer deployments, Microsoft looked at infection rates measured in “computers cleaned per mile (CCM).”

Microsoft looked at a set of 34 national characteristics that influenced a nation’s CCM. The company then identified countries that seemed to outperform or under perform in cyber security, based on Microsoft’s predictive model. Apparently cyber security can be worked out by looking at the high Gross Income Per Capita, higher broadband penetration and investment in R&D and high rates of literacy. Demographic instability, political instability and lower levels of education, like those in poorer countries lead to more malware.

Wealth wasn’t the only factor. Countries that passed and enforced laws relating to cyber crime and those that participated in trans-national cybercrime treaties, like the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, had lower-than-expected rates of infections.  There was also a link between tolerance of software piracy and malware infection rates, Microsoft found.

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