Microsoft: International cyber-pacts can lead to less malware
- 06 February, 2013 20:29
Countries that have signed on to international cybersecurity agreements tend to have fewer malware infections among their citizens, according to new research released by Microsoft and George Washington University.
Countries that have signed the 2001 Council of Europe Cybercrime treaty or the 2004 London Action Plan on spam tend to outperform other countries in a key cybersecurity measure, said the report, released Wednesday by Microsoft and George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute.
While simply signing on to an international cybersecurity agreement may not have an impact on the metric, computers cleaned per mile, or CCM, the agreements often come with requirements for countries before they can sign on, said Paul Nicholas, senior director of global security strategy and diplomacy at Microsoft.
The requirements from the agreements include methods for international cooperation on cybercrime that "can evolve with the changing threat landscape," he said.
To sign on to the agreements, countries "had to go and build capabilities, they had to change laws," Nicholas added.
Beyond the international agreements, researchers found 34 factors that correlate with a stronger national cybersecurity posture. Among the factors that correlated with a lower CCM number were computers per capita, Facebook use, health expenditures per person, broadband penetration, and research and development spending.
However, Microsoft and George Washington found that countries with a defensive strategy for cybersecurity don't necessarily have low CCM rates. "The expression of military doctrines for cyberspace is a novel and ongoing development," the report said.
Countries with the lowest CCM, according to the report, included Australia, China, Japan, Sweden and France. The U.S., U.K., Russia, South Africa, Spain and Argentina had slightly higher CCM rates.
Among the countries with the highest CCM: Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Iraq.
Microsoft, in the report, noted that CCM isn't a perfect measure of cybersecurity posture in a country. And a low CCM number doesn't mean that a country is safe from cyberattacks, Nicholas said. "You're safer than you were, but you're not yet safe," he said. "Certainly, there are a lot of painful things happening in the world right now."
Authors of the report hope it will be helpful to policymakers in countries looking to increase their cybersecurity posture, Nicholas said. Policymakers and cybersecurity experts in many parts of the world are currently talking about new ways to cooperate internationally and improve national cybersecurity responses, and those are "very positive" discussions, he said.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Five trends affecting legal CIOs
CIO Roundtable: The changing face of security
Bitcoin malware count soars as cryptocurrency value climbs
Bouncing Back From CIO Unemployment
Union slams latest fibre-to-premise trial in Tasmania
Chandler Macleod recruits new user virtualization platform
One of Australasia’s largest and most successful recruitment and human capital management companies share their success story after recruiting a user virtualization platform, giving them control over the users and devices that have access to specific applications.
Cloud-Based Mobile Device Security Streamlines Data Protection
Read this white paper to learn why cloud-based security offers superior protection that meets today’s requirements for identifying and preventing access to malicious sites and applications while reducing management complexity and IT staff time and effort. This whitepaper discusses: • Increased use of mobile devices and the associated risks • Ways to address security challenges • Benefits of cloud-based anti-malware solutions
The Collaboration Paradox
In this whitepaper, we look at how new collaboration tools enable global executives to get more out of teams and make faster decisions. However, these teams feel restricted by outdated communication methods that lead to slower decision making and ultimately wasted time and money. Download to hear from the most enthusiastic adopters of collaboration tools and the benefits they have seen in their workplace.