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New Zealand named amongst most vulnerable countries at risk of cyber attack

New Zealand has been named amongst the most vulnerable countries susceptible to a cyber attack. 

According to NordVPN's latest Cyber Risk Index, Iceland, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Norway, the United States, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are more attractive target for cybercriminals. 

Northern Europe  is the most dangerous region when it comes to individual cyber risks, while North America is a close second. In both regions, more than 9 out of 10 people use the internet, 8 out of 10 shop online, and 7 out of 10 use Facebook. This leads to increased exposure to cyber threats.

The Cyber Risk Index covered 50 countries, comprising 70% of the world population. Eighteen out of the 50 countries analysed were in high or very high cyber risk.

From 0 to 1, the Cyber Risk Index (CRI) predicts the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime depending on the country of residence. The higher the index, the higher the risk. New Zealand was eighth on the list and had a CRI score of 0.660.

NordVPN says that although developed countries are better prepared to tackle statewide cybersecurity challenges and have better IT education, that has little impact on cyber threats on an individual level.

"Their residents are more attractive targets for cybercriminals because of higher income and more time spent online," it says. 

Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN, says cybercriminals did not look for victims, they looked for opportunities much like pickpockets in crowded places. 

"The more time you spend on the web, the more services you use there, the more money you spend online, the higher the possibility you will run into a cybercriminal," he explains.

According to Markuson, cybercriminals rarely target individual people. 

"More often, they spin a vast web of traps and hope to catch oblivious victims. That is why they often focus on citizens of developed countries as the gain can be higher," he says.

NordVPN says it is predicted that the internet will gain more than a billion new users in the next five years. This growth will mostly come from low-risk countries, like India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Ukraine, South Africa, Mexico, Philippines, and others, where internet penetration is still low. 

According to Markuson, this means that cybercriminals will have the luxury to choose from a much larger pool of easy targets.

NordVPN's service is used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The company has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P friendly.