If you are looking for the best digital quality of life in the world, Denmark seems to be the place to go.

Hamlet’s homeland ranked first among 110 countries based on five “pillars” of measurement: Internet affordability, Internet quality, infrastructure, security and government, according to a study released Monday by VPN provider Surfshark.

Within the pillars are 14 “indicators” that further refine the quality of life measurement. For example, there are two indicators within the infrastructure column: the number of people using the Internet and the readiness of the network.

Countries were classified based on index points with the best possible value equal to one. Denmark had the top score with 0.83, followed by South Korea (0.76), Finland (0.76), Israel (0.74), USA (0.74) and Singapore (0.72).

2021 Digital Quality of Life Index (Source: Surfshark)

“The methodology of the study seems pretty solid,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, Calif.

“Since its launch in 2019 Surfshark has improved the study, both the areas examined and the number of countries and regions covered,” he told TechNewsWorld.

early internet adapter

Roslyn Layton, senior vice president of Strand Consult, a technology consultancy in Copenhagen, Denmark, said the findings of the Surfshark study are similar to reports from the International Telecommunication Union. “Denmark consistently scores at the top,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“Denmark was an early internet adopter, and it quickly put all its government online,” explained Layton, a naturalized Danish citizen. “It created tools that allow individuals and businesses to interact with the government.”

“In the United States, there is a lot of paperwork involved when dealing with the government,” she continued. “Denmark immediately digitized it. It was a way to encourage universal adoption of the Internet.”

“As a result, government systems are very useful, integrated, seamless and secure,” she said. “That’s what’s been happening for the last 20 years.”

However, in the Surfshark study, the United States ranked first in the electronic government category, while Denmark ranked sixth.

Most and least developed countries in the e-government category

Least and least developed countries in the e-government category (Image credit: Surfshark)

Joe Kane, director of spectrum and broadband policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said, “This may warrant relative to other countries, but our research has found that the US still has much to do in improving the delivery of electronic government services.” There is space.” ITIF), a science and technology think tank in Washington, DC

need more competition

Kane stressed that Denmark has some other advantages over the United States when it comes to cultivating a digital life there.

“Denmark is a rich, dense country,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This makes it relatively easy to connect entire counties at affordable prices and provide high quality government services.”

Countries with the Most and Least Affordable Internet

Denmark ranks first among the countries with the most affordable internet. At the other end of the spectrum, the five least affordable internet countries are all in the continent of Africa. (image credit: surfshark)

Layton said Denmark also has a program in place to keep the cost of network deployment down. “The permissions to create the network are streamlined,” she explained. “Providers are encouraged to compete and invest.”

This is in stark contrast to the competitive scene in the United States. “There’s no competition in a lot of places in the US, so there’s not a lot of incentive for providers to upgrade,” said Jack E. Gould, founder and principal analyst at IT consulting firm J.Gold Associates. Northborough, Mass.

“This is changing and changing quickly,” he told TechNewsWorld, “due to 5G and fixed wireless access in many regions.”

However, he said the United States could be more competitive with other countries if it had a comprehensive broadband policy. “Many European countries are making policies that say, ‘You will do this, and we will fund it.’ It benefits some countries,” he explained. “In America, it’s all about private enterprise.”

doing well despite the challenges

King said that while the US is a leading market in both technology development and products, the federal government’s business-friendly approach has resulted in wide disparities in the quality, availability and cost of the Internet. “The ‘digital divide’ continues to be widespread, especially in rural and small communities,” he said.

“There are people in the United States without digital skills,” Layton said. “They lack education. Not many people have an interest in being online, although that has certainly changed with Covid – and because the United States is a huge country, you have the cost of getting the network into rural areas. ,

“America has done well given its challenges,” she continued, “but it is still an issue with the people not trusting the government.”

When comparing the United States to other countries in the Surfshark study, it is important to note how much the US ranks above it in the rankings, said Bruce Leachman, president, principal and analyst with Leachman Research Group in Durham, NH. Maintained.

The US has about 125 million households, compared to 2.7 million in Denmark, 21.5 million in South Korea, 1.5 million in Finland and 2.1 million in Israel. “So, one could say that given the size of the US, it is performing particularly well,” he told TechNewsWorld.

subjective subject

Although South Korea ranked second in the overall ranking, it took the top spot in both internet quality and broadband and mobile speed growth.

“One of the reasons there is a lot of bandwidth in South Korea is that gaming is so popular there,” Gold explained. He said that the government has made a policy to provide high-speed broadband to all in the next few years.

Best and worst countries for internet quality

Best and worst countries for internet quality (Image credit: Surfshark)

“South Korea has long been proactive in supporting the development and deployment of leading Internet-based services and solutions,” King said. “Add in major tech companies including Samsung, SK and LG, and South Korea’s ranking is no surprise.”

Much of South Korea’s digital infrastructure is relatively new, unlike the United States. “A lot of the infrastructure we have in the US is 30, 40 years old and hasn’t been upgraded,” Gold said. “A lot of new, high-growth countries have been adding new things or upgrading over the years. It makes a big difference.”

While Surfshark’s study may surprise some, Gould warns that digital quality of life can be a very subjective thing. “What you need and what I need may be very different from what our children need,” he said.

Furthermore, Surfshark’s findings may be more interesting than those from outside the countries involved in the study. “Users in every country are generally happy with what they have, whether they have it better or worse than other countries,” said technology analyst Jeff Kagan.

“While some countries are faster than others, users don’t know or care,” he told TechNewsWorld. “So, while it’s always fun to think about and talk about these studies, I don’t think they make any difference to users’ satisfaction.”

Digital devices and home networks of corporate executives, board members and high-value employees with access to financial, confidential and proprietary information are ripe targets for malicious actors, according to a study released Tuesday by a cybersecurity services firm.

Connected homes are a prime target for cybercriminals, but few officials or security teams realize the prominence of this emerging threat, analyzing data from more than 1,000 C-suite, board members and more than 55 high-profile US officials. Based on that mentioned in the study. -based Fortune 1000 companies that are using BlackClock’s executive security platform.

“BlackClock’s study is exceptional,” said Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, a password management and online storage company.

“It helps to uncover the broader issues and vulnerabilities that cause millions of businesses to transact with distributed, remote work as well as corporate websites, applications and systems from unsecured home networks,” he told TechNewsWorld. are.”

Blackcloak researchers found that nearly a quarter of executives (23%) have open ports on their home networks, which is highly unusual.

BlackCloak CISO Daniel Floyd attributed some of those open ports to third-party installers. “They don’t want to send a truck out because they’re an audio-visual or IT company, when things break down, they’ll install port-forwarding on the firewall,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“It allows them to connect remotely to the network to solve problems,” he continued. “Unfortunately, they are being installed improperly with default credentials or vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched for four or five years.”

exposed security cameras

An open port resembles an open door, Taylor Ellis, a customer threat analyst with Horizon 3 AI, told an automated penetration test as a service company in San Francisco. “You wouldn’t leave your door open 24/7 in this day and age, and it’s like on a home network with an open port,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“For a business leader,” he continued, “when you have an open port that provides access to sensitive data, the risk of breaches and penetration increases.”

“A port acts like a communication gateway for a specific service hosted on a network,” he said. “An attacker can easily open backdoors into one of these services and manipulate them to do their bidding.”

The report noted that of the open ports on Corporate Brass’ home network, 20% were linked to open security cameras, which could pose a risk to an executive or even a board member.

Bud Broomhead said, “Security cameras are often used by threat actors to spot and distribute malware, but perhaps more important is to provide surveillance on patterns and habits – and if resolution is sufficient, passwords and Other credentials are being entered.” , CEO of Viaku, a developer of cyber and physical security software solutions in Mountain View, Calif.

He told TechNewsWorld, “Many IP cameras have default passwords and outdated firmware, making them ideal targets for breaches and once breached, for threat actors to later migrate to home networks.” It gets easier.”

data leak

Blackcloak researchers also discovered that corporate brass’s personal devices were equally, if not more, vulnerable than their home networks. More than a quarter of execs (27%) had malware on their devices, and more than three-quarters of their devices (76%) were leaking data.

One way data leaks from smartphones is through applications. “A lot of apps will ask for sensitive permissions they don’t need,” Floyd explained. “People will open the app for the first time and click through settings, not realizing they are giving the app access to their location data. The app will then sell that location data to a third party.”

“It’s not just officers and their personal tools, it’s everyone’s personal tools,” said Chris Hills, chief security strategist at BeyondTrust, a maker of privileged account management and vulnerability management solutions in Carlsbad, Calif.

“The amount of data, PII, even PHI, in a common smartphone these days is astonishing,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We don’t know how vulnerable we can be when we don’t think about security as it pertains to our smartphones.”

Personal device security doesn’t seem to be top of mind for many executives. The study found that nine out of 10 of them (87%) have no protection installed on their devices.

lack of mobile OS security

“Many devices ship without security software, and even if they do, it may not be enough,” Broomhead said. “For example, Samsung Android devices ship with Knox security, which has previously been found to have security holes.”

“The device manufacturer may try to make a tradeoff between security and usability which may favor usability,” he said.

Hills said most people are comfortable and satisfied with the idea that their smartphone’s built-in operating system has the necessary security measures in place to keep the bad guys out.

“For the layman, that’s probably enough,” he said. “For the business executive who is more than likely to lose his or her role in a business or company, the security blanket of the underlying operating system simply isn’t enough.”

“Unfortunately, in most cases,” he continued, “we focus so much on trying to protect as individuals, sometimes some of the most common are overlooked, such as our smartphones.”

lack of privacy protection

Another finding by Blackcloak researchers was that most personal accounts of executives, such as email, e-commerce, and applications, lack basic privacy protections.

In addition, they discovered the authorities’ security credentials – such as bank and social media passwords – are readily available on the dark web, making them susceptible to social engineering attacks, identity theft and fraud.

The researchers noted that the passwords of nine out of 10 executives (87%) are currently leaked on the dark web, and more than half (53%) are not using a secure password manager. Meanwhile, only 8% have enabled active multifactor authentication across most applications and devices.

Melissa Bishopping, endpoint security research specialist, said, “While measures such as multifactor authentication are not perfect, these basic best practices are essential, especially for boards/c-suites, which are often left out of necessity in terms of convenience. ” Tanium, creator of the endpoint management and security platform in Kirkland, Wash., told TechNewsWorld.

“Invading personal digital lives may be a new risk for enterprises to consider,” wrote the researchers, “but it is a risk that needs immediate attention. Opponents have determined that officials at home are the path of least resistance, and they will compromise this attack vector as long as it is safe, seamless and attractive to them.