Cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges that most developing nations face today. As such, the disseminating factors causing this menace should be scrutinized in the first place. Microsoft stands up to the challenge! The software giant recently, released a new study titled The Cybersecurity Risk Paradox.
Cybersecurity Threats in Developing Nations
The report focuses on particulars of social and economic factors affecting cybersecurity outcomes worldwide. The report was a follow-up study whose minutes rested on the earlier findings of a study released last year entitled Linking Cybersecurity Outcomes and Policies.
About Linking Cybersecurity Outcomes and Policies – A study under which malware infection data was taken from Microsoft Security Intelligence Report and compared with international socioeconomic statistics in three categories –
- Digital access
- Institutional stability
- Regime stability.
Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) analyses vulnerabilities that might exist in computer world, and malware using data from Internet services and over 600 million computers worldwide to create awareness. Microsoft has a firm conviction that threat awareness can certainly help users in protecting their organization, software, and people.
After a detailed comparison of the report with international socioeconomic statistics in the abovementioned three categories/indicators, researchers managed to identify the key social, economic and technological factors critical to enhancing cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity Risk Paradox
A new special edition of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report studying the linkage between changes in national development and cybersecurity over time. Findings of the report revealed digital access, institutional stability and economic development were predictors of malware infection rates.
What Risk Paradox report describes some countries as seekers (developing countries) are the ones having higher cybersecurity risk as these are the ones with developing economies and lower levels of technological development. The report also makes surprising revelations. For instance, while increased Internet access and more mature technological development is correlated with improvement in cybersecurity at the global level, it has the opposite effect among countries with developing economies and lower levels of technological development.
Example cited – As Broadband Penetration increases, Maximizers (countries that are more technologically mature) experience a decrease in malware, while Seeker countries (that are less technologically mature) experience an increase in malware.
To explain the above effect, a hypothesis supported what is referred as tipping point. It explains there exists a tipping point in digital maturity after which increased technological access ceases to encourage the growth of malware and begins to reduce it.
The conclusion of this study by Microsoft, outlines a set of policy recommendations, including the adoption of a national cybersecurity strategy to counter cyber threats and reinforce cyber security. Computer security (also known as cybersecurity or IT security) is information security as applied to computers and computer networks.