European countries most at risk of cyber crime revealed

Specopsstudy on cyber crime, which analysed the percentage of cloud attacks on Azure alongside the proportion of machines encountering cryptocurrency mining, malware and ransomware per month, found that the Netherlands is the most vulnerable among European countries.

In the Netherlands, machines have faced a cyber breach rate of 17.64%, as well as facing the largest proportional amount of cloud provider attacks on Azure (16.28%).

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Coming in second overall is Bulgaria with 17.55% incoming attacks, with Belarus, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina facing a rate of 10.83%, 10.35% and 7.06% respectively.

Conversely, Ireland was found to be the country that is least at risk, with a rate of 1.08%, followed by Norway (1.38%), and Denmark (1.6%).

Specops Software’s senior vice-president of global marketing, Aimée Ravacon, provided three things to consider in order to minimise cyber attack risk:

    1. Stop re-using passwords: “When you reuse your passwords, you are opening yourself up to cyber crime since attackers use your login information from one site to target another site.”
    2. Use multi-factor authentication: “Many online services now offer multi-factor authentication, but too few people are taking advantage of this extra security layer. This simple step just takes a minute but can protect you from falling victim.”
    3. Be wary of suspicious-looking links: “Phishing emails are designed to look real and can even appear to come from people you know. But clicking on links in a phishing email can open a backdoor for an attacker.”

Cloud attack encounters

With the Netherlands topping the list for cloud attack encounters, Bulgaria, as well as coming in second overall, came in behind the Netherlands in this category as well (11.68%).

Other high-ranking countries when it comes to attacks on Azure accounts included France (2.73%), the UK (2.02%), and Finland (1.72%).

Malware attacks

Belarus was found to have had the most malware attacks among European countries; 10.17% of machines in the country encountered them per month, followed by Ukraine (9.57%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (6.76%), and Romania (5.92%).

Ireland, on the other end of the scale, only encountered a 0.7% monthly rate for malware cyber crime, with the other least vulnerable European countries in this category being Finland (1.27%), Norway (1.33%), and the Netherlands (1.33%).

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Ransomware attacks

Ransomware-orientated cyber crime was encountered the most in the Ukraine with a monthly rate of 0.09%, followed by Belarus and Bosnia with 0.06% and 0.05% respectively.

The UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland all encountered the lowest rate of ransomware with 0.01%.

Cryptocurrency mining

For attacks on cryptocurrency, Belarus (0.42%) received the highest rate per month, followed by Ukraine (0.33%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (0.25%), and Bulgaria (0.17%).

Machines in Switzerland, the home of the blockchain ecosystem Crypto Valley, only received a rate of 0.02%, higher than just one country, Ireland with 0.01%.

Specops used credentials from Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report to conduct the study.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.