Which European countries have the best and worst cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity, News, Which European countries have the best and worst cybersecurity?

New research released by ESET, reveals Europe’s most cyber safe countries, with Portugal taking the crown, while the UK is named the 8th worst.

The research analysed European countries on a number of factors such as: 

  • Exposure rank (lower score indicates higher exposure)
  • Commitment to cybersecurity (0-1)
  • % Discovered malicious software on devices in the last three years
  • % Social network or email account hacked in the last three years
  • % Victim of bank card or online banking fraud in the last three years
  • % Victim of identity theft in the last three years
  • Number of pieces of cybersecurity legislation

The top ten countries with the best cybersecurity

The research found that Portugal scored highest for cyber safety with a result of 8.21 out of 10, followed by Lithuania and Slovakia, who produced scores of 7.99 and 7.21 respectively. Notably, the United Kingdom finished outside of the top 10, placing 16th out of 24 with a score of 5.59.

RankCountryCyber Security Score (/10)
1Portugal8.21
2Lithuania7.99
3Slovakia7.21
4Greece7.03
5Spain6.82
6Estonia6.75
7Latvia6.20
8Finland6.09
9Denmark6.08
10Slovenia6.05
The top 10 countries with the best cybersecurity

The ten countries with the worst cybersecurity

Romania ranked as the worst country in Europe for cyber safety with a score of 3.27 out of 10; they also have the fewest pieces of cybercrime legislation in Europe, totalling just two legislative acts. Perhaps surprisingly, Romania was joined in the bottom three by Austria and France, who scored 3.80 and 4.36 respectively.

The United Kingdom has the lowest exposure rank in Europe, with a score of 5 (lower rank indicates a higher exposure, exposure rank indicates how exposed each country is to cybercrime). Meanwhile, the UK also scored the highest for commitment to cybersecurity with a score of 0.931 (out of 1). 

RankCountryCyber Security Score (/10)
1Romania3.27
2Austria3.80
3France4.36
4Belgium4.37
5Luxembourg4.40
6Ireland5.36
7Netherlands5.47
8United Kingdom5.59
9Sweden5.59
10Hungary5.61
The top 10 countries with the worst cybersecurity

Check out the research in full here

Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist for ESET, commented on the findings: “No single measure – whether it’s the amount of legislation or the number of banking fraud victims – can tell the whole story when it comes to cybersecurity. Protecting citizens online is incredibly complicated, and there’s no one right way to do it. In practice, cyber safety can mean different things for different people, so this is not a case of ‘one size fits all’. Nonetheless, it’s important for nations to be aware of the actions taken across Europe and learn from one another wherever possible. A truly holistic approach to cybersecurity requires a breadth of knowledge about potential approaches, including how and when they work best.

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While it’s disappointing to see the UK ranking so far down The European Cybersecurity Index, it is encouraging that the nation has scored so highly for commitment to cybersecurity. With every new initiative, we become a step closer to a safer internet for everyone. Ultimately, cybersecurity works best when we work together, whether that’s between individual people or entire countries. As the internet is international, no one country can be responsible for cyber safety. Recent events have shown us that co-operation and collaboration are more important than ever.”

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