The threat landscape shifts significantly in the European Union – Part 3

In the first two parts of this three part series I focused on the locations in the European Union (EU) that had the highest malware infection rates and/or saw the highest increases in malware infection rates in the second half of 2011.

In this final installment of the series I focus on the countries/regions in the EU that have the lowest malware infection rates and some insights that other locations with higher infection rates might find helpful.

Figure 1: The locations in the EU with the lowest malware infection rates (CCM) in the third (3Q11) and fourth quarters (4Q11) of 2011

As seen in Figure1, locations such as Finland and Sweden have CCMs well below the worldwide average in 2011. In addition, the lists of most prevalent threats in these locations are characterized by relatively high concentrations of adware versus other families of more severe threats.

Figure 2 on left: Malware and potentially unwanted software categories in Finland in 4Q11, by percentage of cleaned computers affected (totals exceed 100 percent because some computers are affected by more than one kind of threat); Figure 3 on right: Top ten threat families in Finland in 4Q11

Figure 4 on left: Malware and potentially unwanted software categories in Sweden in 4Q11, by percentage of cleaned computers affected (totals exceed 100 percent because some computers are affected by more than one kind of threat); Figure 5 on right: Top ten threat families in Sweden in 4Q11.

I have written about locations with low malware infection rates in the past. The things these countries/regions espouse include:

  • Strong public – private partnerships that enable proactive and response capabilities

  • ISPs, CERTS, etc. actively monitor, communicate and act on emerging threats

  • IT culture where administrators respond rapidly to system infections or abuse

  • Enforcement policies, active remediation of threats via quarantining infected systems

  • Education campaigns and media focus on improving public awareness

  • Low software piracy rates

  • Keep all software up-to-date

Insights are also available in a case study we published on a leading Internet Service Provider in Finland called TeliaSonera. In the case study, TeliaSonera shares the methods they use to maintain one of the cleanest networks in the consistently cleanest location in the world.

I hope you found this analysis of the threat landscape in the EU useful.

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