The 10 best (and worst) countries for cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A 2023 Harvard Business study has revealed that data breaches in the US are at an “all time high”, increasing by 20 per cent in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to 2022. The picture was similar around the globe where attacks were particularly focused on the UK, Australia and Canada. In the Middle East ransomware gang activity grew by 77 per cent during the same year.

This small glimpse into the ever shifting landscape of global cybersecurity hints at the level of threat faced by global nations.  

Governments are responding by introducing new legislation and policies to protect data and infrastructure. Pathways to report breaches are being established alongside the installation of national CIRT (Cyber Instance Response) and CERT (Computer Emergency Response) teams.

But which country is leading the way when it comes to cybersecurity? And which are failing to protect its citizens and national infrastructures? Alongside the human impact of cybercrime, the financial cost is significant, as investigated by ExpressVPN in this blog post. We look at the best (and the worst) countries when it comes to cybersecurity.

Five countries with the best cyber security

Planet earth in outer space with network connection and sunlight. (City Lights 2012 – Flat map – – Softwar:3dsMax, Adobe After Effects, and Photoshop)

The United States

The US has traditionally been a pioneer in cybersecurity and it still leads the way. There have been major challenges in recent years, however, such as 2023’s real estate data breach that made public the financial details of 1.5 billion people, including celebrities. In March 2023 the Biden administration announced its new National Cybersecurity Strategy to help protect critical infrastructure.


The Nordic region generally scores very highly for cybersecurity. Nevertheless, the area needs to remain vigilant. Despite a high score of 92.6 in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Global Cybersecurity Index Denmark suffered its biggest ever cyberattack in November 2023 when Russian hackers hit 22 Danish power companies.

United Kingdom

Ranking fifth (out of a total of 194 countries) in the Global Cybersecurity Index, the UK is one of the most cyber-secure nations. The threat is also high. “The UK is a top target for cybercriminals,” the UK Minister of State for Security, Tom Tugendhat has said. As part of its 2022 cybersecurity strategy, the UK Government launched a cyber intelligence hub, the Cyber Coordination Centre.


And the prize goes to… Poland! According to the live National Cyber Security Index Poland currently sits at number 1 for its preparedness to prevent and manage a cybersecurity threat. Reportedly, a large part of this success is due to Poland’s cybersecurity strategy, which includes concerted campaigns to increase public awareness and educate its population on the threat of attack.

Saudi Arabia

The ITU Global Cybersecurity Index places Saudi Arabia in second place, alongside the UK. According to Shilpi Handa, Associate Research Director at ITU, Saudi Arabia “has made significant strides in bolstering its cybersecurity infrastructure”. Last year the Kingdom ploughed $1.2 billion into training young people in cybersecurity to keep up with future threats.

Global cybersecurity: which nations are failing?

System hacked warning alert on notebook (Laptop).
System hacked warning alert on notebook (Laptop). Cyber attack on computer network, Virus, Spyware, Malware or Malicious software. Cyber security and cybercrime. Compromised information internet.


A lack of cybersecurity regulations and infrastructure has made Namibian citizens and infrastructure vulnerable to malicious actors. “In 2022 Namibia faced a 40 per cent increase in reported cyber attacks,” reports Kamal Tour, acting head of cybercrime programmes in Africa for the UN. In late 2023, the country’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology Peya Mushelenga called for greater protection for network and data security.


Central Asia does not shine bright when it comes to cybersecurity. A 2021 study by Comparitch compares 60 countries according to 15 criteria. It reveals that Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are most likely to come under attack from cryptominers. 40 per cent of computers in Tajikistan face at least one malware attack.


China ranks 33 (out of 194) in the ITU Global Cybersecurity Index and 15 in the National Cybersecurity Index. According to the Comparitech study, however, 14 per cent of mobile phones in China are infected by malware. The nation also notches up the highest percentage of IoT (Internet of Things) SSH-based attacks by the originating country. 


Bangladesh has well-acknowledged issues with cyber security. The nation comes second to last in the Comparitech study, which found that 17 per cent of mobiles were infected by malware. In October 2023, 5 million Bangladeshi nationals had personal details shared on Telegram after a breach of the National Identity Card server.


The Comparitech study discovered that Iran has the highest number of mobiles infected with malware – a whopping 30.29 per cent. In December 2023 70 per cent of all Iranian fuel pumps were taken out by hackers Predators Sparrow, which exposed the country’s vulnerabilities when it comes to cyber attack.


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