The citizens of the United Kingdom are amongst the most vulnerable to cybercrime. According to the Cyber Risk Index compiled by NordVPN in partnership with Statista. The UK ranks tenth amongst the 50 analyzed countries.
UK residents are at a high risk of becoming victims of cybercrime, according to the new Cyber Risk Index by NordVPN. The UK has a high-income economy, advanced technological infrastructure, urbanization, and digitalization. However, these same factors increase the prevalence of cybercrime.
NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index covers 50 countries comprising 70% of the world population. The UK ranks as the 10th most vulnerable to cybercrime out of the analyzed countries.
What increases the cyber risk in the UK
The UK has landed in the high cyber risk bracket because of significant exposure to cyber threats. “Cybercriminals don’t look for victims, they look for opportunities — much like pickpockets in crowded places,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Spend enough time riding in a packed bus, and a pickpocket will ‘accidentally’ bump into you. Same story online. Your cyber risk increases with every extra hour online.”
NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index shows that 95% of UK residents use the internet, and 76% have smartphones. “9 out of 10 shop online — that’s the 3rd highest score globally,” says Daniel Markuson. “The monthly wage in the UK is $1000 higher than the average of all analyzed countries. That’s why cyber criminals set their sights on the UK — it’s brimming with enticing targets who provide ample opportunities to strike.”
What decreases the cyber risk in the UK
The UK is the leader on the Global CyberSecurity Index, taking the 1st spot. The Global CyberSecurity Index is calculated based on legal, technical, organizational, and capacity building factors on a country level.
However, cybersecurity infrastructure has a limited impact on cybercrime. “Cyber risk management on a national level is obviously important, but it hardly makes a dent on its own. Online security has to be tackled individually. Understanding what increases the cyber risk — that time spent online and income are very important factors — is a profound step towards a safer digital life,” says Daniel Markuson.
That’s another reason why the UK isn’t higher on the most vulnerable list. Most of the UK population may be active internet users, but the time they spend online is limited.
According to the Cyber Risk Index, residents of the UK spend 45 minutes less time online than the average of 50 analyzed countries.
The method behind the Cyber Risk Index
NordVPN created the Index in partnership with Statista, the world’s leading business data provider. The Index was created in three stages. First, Statista collected socio-economic, digital, cyber, and crime data from 50 selected countries. Second, NordVPN analyzed the data’s positive and negative impact on cyber risk and calculated the correlation between the first three data sets (socio-economic, digital, cyber) and the fourth (crime).
Finally, NordVPN trimmed the data down to the 14 most significant factors, used them to create the Index, and ranked the 50 countries according to the cyber risk they’re facing.
Download a PDF of the UK Cyber Risk Index here.