European Cybersecurity Index: European Countries with the Best and Worst Cybersecurity

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While we use technology in every aspect of life, it’s becoming increasingly important that we keep ourselves and our data safe online, using every tool available such as antivirus software. From our banking information to our home address, the internet is full of personal and sensitive data.

Are you more likely to have better cybersecurity depending on where you live in the world? In this recent study, ESET researchers delved into the data for 24 European countries, examining how each country tackles cybersecurity and how prevalent hacking and online fraud is amongst the region’s residents.


The European Countries with the best cybersecurity

Each country was assigned a cybersecurity score out of ten, calculated by a range of online safety factors. These took into account how exposed each region was to potential attacks, commitment to cybersecurity, cybersecurity legislation and the number of residents who have fallen victim to various types of cyber attacks.

1. Portugal – 8.21 cybersecurity score out of 10

Portugal tops the list as the most cyber-safe region in Europe, boasting very low numbers of people who have fallen victim to malicious software, social media hacking, online banking fraud and identity theft. This, coupled with legislation in five categories (national strategy, content, privacy, critical infrastructure and commerce), earned Portugal its title as the best European country for cybersecurity.


2. Lithuania – 7.99 cybersecurity score out of 10

With a cybersecurity score of 7.99 out of 10, Lithuania takes the second spot, with a particularly high result for their commitment to cybersecurity. With 0.908 out of 1, Lithuania also has the fourth highest score for their commitment to making online spaces safe.



3. Slovakia – 7.21 cybersecurity score out of 10

The final country in our top three is Slovakia, with a cybersecurity score of 7.21 out of 10. This country ranks well in terms of exposure, a factor measuring whether sites and services are at risk of exposure due to a lack of protections put in place. With an exposure rank of 62, Slovakia has few services at risk of exposure compared to other countries.


The European Cybersecurity Index

The 24 European countries below have been measured on factors covering their response to cybersecurity issues, to the risk posed to residents when they are online. These factors have allowed us to assign a cybersecurity score out of 10 to each country, indicating how prepared the region is and how it impacts its inhabitants.


We analysed each country on the following factors, giving each a normalised score out of ten on each factor before taking an average score across all factors, with countries omitted if data wasn’t available for each factor.

  • Exposure Rank – This score is taken from Rapid 7’s National Exposure Index 2018 with a lower number in the ranking indicating a higher risk of exposure.
  • Commitment to Cybersecurity – This was taken from the ITU publication Global Cybersecurity Index 2018 and is scored on a scale of 0-1.
  • Victims of Malicious Software, Social Network or Email Hacking, Online Banking Fraud, Identity Theft – These four factors were taken from the Eurobarometer survey, Europeans’ Attitudes Towards Cyber Security with percentages indicating the percentage of respondents who had fallen victim to each of these factors in the last three years.
  • Cybersecurity Legislation – This comes from the Cyber Regulation Index and looks at seven possible categories for cybersecurity legislation. The number given indicates the number of these categories in which each country has legislation.

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