EU taking the lead on e‑security; Australia lagging behind

Friday, 30 April, 2021

EU taking the lead on e‑security; Australia lagging behind

A recent study from privacy protection company Surfshark has examined the electronic security of 85 countries, revealing the prevailing inequalities among countries that did not have any data protection laws for their citizens. The study found that 15 countries (10 Asian, three South American and two African) out of 85 examined did not have any data protection laws.

The study defined electronic security scores by the index of the national levels of cybersecurity and the status of citizens’ data protection laws. While governments in Europe, South-eastern Asia and North America were most prepared to counter cyber threats, South-eastern Asian countries and Australia fell short on personal data protection.

Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark, noted that cybersecurity risks need to be considered on a strategic level.

“Therefore, a country’s commitment to and the effectiveness of its national cybersecurity and data protection are critical to its citizens’ wellbeing and economic development,” Kaziukonis said.

A report has revealed that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has put the entire region at the forefront of global e-security. This means that the EU states lead in implementing effective cybersecurity policies and ensuring personal data protection globally. According to the study, the top 10 most secure countries are all in Europe: the UK, France, Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Norway, The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and Germany.

Countries based in Southern Asia, Western Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America were the least prepared to secure their citizens’ lives. The bottom 10 countries were Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Nepal, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Guatemala, Lebanon and Honduras.

The research identified 15 countries that did not have any data protection laws for their citizens. These countries included Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Nigeria, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Panama, Guatemala, Lebanon and Honduras. The lack of data protection laws means that the processing, privacy and use of personal data is unregulated, leaving third-party companies or individuals to do with collected data as they please. This can impact a country’s overall e-security because it leaves its citizens’ wellbeing open to potential compromise.

The study also revealed a strong correlation between the e-security index (cybersecurity and data protection scores) and the overall digital quality of life (DQL), out of all the examined factors, like internet quality and affordability, e-government and e-infrastructure.

E-security also showed the smallest correlation (0.58) with a country’s GDP. This suggests that other factors besides GDP per capita, like governing efficiency, legislation, technical and organisational measures, are more important for overall e-security.

Image credit: © Planet Studio

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