Lessons from Some of the Least Malware Infected Countries in the World – Part 1

We have been producing the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report for nearly five years now. Throughout that period of time I have seen a small group of countries/regions maintain relatively low malware infection rates. Examples include places like Austria, Finland, Germany, and Japan. Of course malware infection rates are dynamic – we measure them using a metric called Computers Cleaned per Mille (CCM). The CCM helps normalize the data so that we can compare infection rates between countries with vastly different populations and computer install bases and not skew the data.

Figure: Infection rates by country/region in the second half of 2010 by CCM as published in SIRv10clip_image002

The aforementioned countries/regions have consistently had CCMs well below the worldwide average as you can see from the table below.

Figure: Infection rates by country/region in the second half of 2010 by CCM as published in SIRv10clip_image004

One of the most common questions I get asked is how these countries/regions manage to keep their ecosystems so clean? There could be a variety of technical, cultural and socioeconomic factors contributing to the cleanliness of these ecosystems.

I plan on taking a closer look at the threat landscape in these locations in a series of blog posts, and offering some commentary on how/why these regions are able to maintain ecosystems that have relatively low malware infection rates.

Tim Rains

Director, Product Management

Trustworthy Computing

About the Author
Tim Rains

Director, Trustworthy Computing

Tim Rains has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry across several disciplines including engineering, consulting, and marketing communications roles. He currently manages security marketing and corporate communications in the Trustworthy Computing division at Microsoft. His expertise ranges Read more »