Microsoft Reports Internet Users Will Double By 2020, Also Indicates State of Malware in Developing Countries
The Internet has certainly become a big place in recent times, that said there is still a huge portion of the world that doesn’t use the net at all. According to Microsoft, there are currently about two billion users right now and says it will double to about 4 billion by 2020.
The report says that much of this growth will come from China, India and Africa. Additionally Microsoft says “This change, coupled with a consistently evolving cybersecurity threat landscape will require governments around the world to look more broadly than ever before to understand the impact of the decisions that are being made today.” As you might have gathered from that statement, the information given by Microsoft about the Internet and its growth was part of a report regarding cybersecurity, entitled “measuring the Impact of Policy on Global Cybersecurity”.
What’s interesting is that countries with better health care, education, stable governments and better net connections tend to have some of the lowest malware infection rates. In comparision, countries with lower literacy, crime and lower broadband net usage have the highest malware infrection rate.
According to Microsoft, “On average, these countries or regions had three times more malware than the highest performing countries, an average piracy rate of 68 percent and fewer than 10 percent of these countries had signed international treaties or codes of conduct on cybercrime.”
The piracy statistics aren’t that surprising. Countries with less income are less likely able to afford certain programs, and so turn to piracy. What I find a bit surprising is the malware rate. Being that the Internet is global place, why are computers in these less developed countries being affected more than those in the developed world? Perhaps just a lack of education when it comes to cybersecurity, using virus protection and other methods for avoiding malware?
The report is pretty long (around 27 pages) but it is at least somewhat interesting to read. The report ends stating :
Though it is hard to predict exactly what the digital world will look like in the decades ahead, strong cybersecurity will be critical to its successful existence. Policymakers around the globe are faced with the difficult challenge of creating policies that positively impact their national cybersecurity. Knowing which types of initiatives have the greatest positive impact on cybersecurity will allow policymakers to make informed, results-based policy decisions.
Does the fact that only around 2 billion people use the Internet right now surprise you? How about the malware issues affecting less-developed regions? Share your thoughts below.