Kaspersky Lab discovered that there were 2,865,351 anti-virus notifications located in Singapore in May, compared to 2,538,630 in April, representing a 13% increase in month-on-month notifications.
These figures represent Internet users worldwide who encounter malicious websites hosted in Singapore, which acts as a base to attack other countries, according to the cybersecurity company.
In light of these findings, Singapore was ranked as the seventh most popular country worldwide for malicious cyber activity detection. It was also ranked the highest among other Asian countries, including China (10th place) and Hong Kong (14th place).
The top four countries in the global ranking included United States with 10,472,047 notifications monthly; followed by the Netherlands, France and Germany. Poland, Denmark, Sweden and Vietnam ranked at the bottom of the list of the top 20 countries.
Jimmy Fong, Regional Director, Southeast Asia, Kaspersky Lab, explained that Singapore's strategic position as a developing global financial centre and market for global operations and business may be why it is a hotspot for malicious agents and cybercriminals.
Additionally, the increased broadband penetration in Singapore also served as another factor that makes Singapore an attractive place for cybercriminals looking to base their insidious websites. According to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the broadband penetration in Singapore is in excess of 107%. This makes Internet activity, be it through home computers, mobile devices and smart phones, at an all-time high in the country.
The study also noted that developed countries are often a more attractive target for cybercriminals than developing nations. Kaspersky believes that cybercriminals often find the heightened levels of cyber security in a developed economy to be a more challenging and worthy pursuit. It also provides increased opportunities for profit as Internet activities in such developed economies tend to be greater and more frequent, providing a bigger catch.
On the flipside, developing countries are at a higher risk of infection as they lack the technological infrastructure and means to adequately protect themselves.
"Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to access vital information that can be monetised. Securing critical data that can cause financial loss or reputational damage is essential for both individuals and businesses," said Vitaly Kamluk, Analyst, Kaspersky Lab. "It is vital that individuals follow best security practices when on the Internet, recognising that they represent a portal or doorway for numerous malicious agents to get into bigger networks and systems to wreak havoc and cause significant damage for the business they are part of."
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