Ireland most cybersecure country in Europe – report

Machines in the Netherlands are most likely to encounter cybercrimes
Image: Stockfresh

25 February 2020

Ireland is the most ‘cybersecure’ country in western Europe, according to a report from Specops Software.

The study revealed the cyber-insecurity of western European countries by analysing the percentage of cloud provider attacks on Azure and the percentage of machines that encountered cryptocurrency mining, malware and ransomware each month. 

Overall, the Netherlands was the most cyber vulnerable country in western Europe with 17.64% incoming attacks and encounters. The Netherlands was followed closely by Bulgaria at 17.55%, and Belarus at 10.83%.




Ireland was found to be the least vulnerable of the 32 countries analysed. It boasts the lowest cybercrime encounter rate in every category bar cloud provider attacks where there is 0.36% recorded incoming attacks on Azure. Just 0.01% of machines in Ireland encountered cryptocurrency, making it the least vulnerable country in western Europe.

The UK ranked 17th out of 32 countries. It is one of the least likely countries to encounter ransomware attacks and cryptocurrency mining but has one of the highest cloud attack encounters at 2.02%.

Credit: Specops Software

Cloud attack

The Netherlands received the highest number of cloud provider incoming attacks as 16.28% of Azure accounts faced breaches. It was followed by Bulgaria (11.68%), then France (2.73%), United Kingdom (2.02%) and Finland (1.72%). 


On average, Belarus had the highest number of cryptocurrency mining encounters every month, with 0.42% of machines recording the issue. Next is Ukraine (0.33%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (0.25%) and Bulgaria (0.17%). Ireland is the least vulnerable at 0.01%, followed closely by the UK, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Germany and Netherlands at 0.02%.


The study found that Belarus had the most malware encounters, with 10.17% of machines in the country encountering them each month on average. Ireland encountered the least malware encounters at 0.7%.


Ukraine is the most insecure to malware encounters in western Europe as 0.09% of its machines encountered malware. Next came Belarus and Bosnia at 0.06% and 0.05% respectively. Machines in Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Finland faced just 0.01% of ransomware threats.

Aimée Ravacon from Specops Software offered tips to lower risk of attack. “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. 

Ravacon emphasised the importance of 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. 

“Don’t click on strange links,” she warned. “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.” 

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