Research reveals 5 most cyber secure countries for remote work.
Experts say that the US workforce can be productive without a traditional office.
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November 29, 2023 – With the boundaries of the traditional office blurring, the world has truly become a playground for the modern nomad. However, when it comes to employee and business relationships, cybersecurity is one of the most important factors to ensure when considering remote work since remote work indeed brings more risks for business.
Recently, cybersecurity company NordLayer discovered the best-scoring countries to accommodate remote employees in its global remote work index (GRWI) research. This evaluation considers various factors across multiple dimensions, such as cybersafety, economic safety, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety.
Conveniently, GRWI reveals that the highest levels of cybersafety are shared among these countries: Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, and Saudi Arabia.
Embracing the inevitable shift
Julia Hobsbawm, the author of the book “The Nowhere Office” reflects on a shift in the modern workplace and shows that today’s workforce can adapt and be productive without traditional office constraints:
“Remote work isn’t merely a case of isolation versus collaboration,” she says. “Profound connections can be made remotely. It’s a testament to human adaptability that we can feel connected, even intimately, through digital mediums,”Hobsbawn explains
US workforce analysis shows that 40% of employees who can work remotely have moved from working only on-site to either a hybrid or totally remote work arrangement between 2019 and 2023. In addition, increasing rent costs motivate employees to shift to remote offices.
Carlos Salas, head of platform engineering at NordLayer, shares his predictions for remote work.
“The vision of the future office is clear — it will stay at least hybrid. However, the real question is whether businesses are ready to ensure their safety and security.” Salas continues: “Remote work in one way or another is an unavoidable present and a feature, so the investments needed for it to happen have to be ensured now.”
What are the top choices for cyber secure countries?
“When people travel abroad, they might overlook cybersecurity considerations. Nonetheless, with growing cybercrime rates and attackers getting more creative, countries’ ability to ensure safe cyber environments should be prioritized,” Salas says. “In addition, a cyber-safe destination, critical thinking, and cybersecurity tools are crucial for remote work to happen,”he continues
NordLayer assessed 108 countries, and here are the top 5 choices for a cybersafe environment. The cybersafety rank is determined from three subdimensions: infrastructure, response capacity, and legal measures. The top 5 ranking countries are almost identical in cybersafety rating, so they make good cybersecurity choices for travelers.
No. 1: Slovakia
Situated at Europe’s crossroads, Slovakia captures remote work enthusiasts’ attention, claiming the 10th spot in the overall GRWI. Notably, it excels in cybersecurity, proudly leading the global landscape. Slovakia’s cybersecurity capabilities make it a prime choice for professionals seeking a secure digital environment. Beyond cybersafety, the country boasts the 13th position in tourism appeal and English proficiency, offering global nomads a seamless blend of work and leisure
No. 2: Estonia
Estonia ranks at the upper tier of the GRWI list, and its cybersafety rank (2nd) makes it a safe destination. Estonia has gained recognition for its robust e-Estonia Program, a comprehensive initiative focused on enhancing digital services and fortifying cyber resilience. The country implemented the 2018-2022 e-Estonia Program for cybersecurity, demonstrating its commitment to monitoring and improving cybersecurity preparedness and response capacity.
Estonia takes the lead in the Baltic states, securing the seventh position in the overall list. In contrast, Lithuania trails closely behind at eighth place, while Latvia lags behind at 31st.
No. 3: Lithuania
Lithuania, ranking 8th on the GRWI, combines history with digital proficiency. Its most notable accomplishment is in cybersafety, ranking 3rd globally, anchored by an exceptional cyber safety infrastructure (4th), quick response capacity (2nd), and unmatched legal measures.
In digital and physical infrastructure (28th), Lithuania shows promise, particularly in internet affordability (20th) and e-infrastructure (24th), though areas like internet quality (32nd) need attention. In summary, Lithuania is a great choice for workers looking for cybersafety.
No. 4: Germany
Germany takes 3rd overall in the GRWI and is 4th in cybersecurity. Its high rank is sweetened by the cherry on top — Germany’s unrivaled internet affordability (1st). Diving deeper into the cybersecurity field, Germany shines particularly bright. Driven by its ground-breaking legislation, the German IT Security Act 2.0 of 2021, the country has fortified its digital borders like no other. This legislation, empowering the Federal Office of Information Security with enhanced capacities, touches on key aspects of cybersecurity — from detection and defense to business security and mobile network safeguards. Consequently, the nation’s cyberspace emerges as one of the safest and most vigilantly monitored.
No. 5: Saudi Arabia
In the cybersafety ranking, Saudi Arabia makes an impression at 5th place alongside a lineup primarily of European countries. However, unlike these European countries, Saudi Arabia is far from the top-10 club, ranking only 44th in the overall index. It has excellent cyberinfrastructure, response capacity, and legal measures, but its low social and economic safety scores drag the country down. Also, among the top 5 cybersafe countries in the world, Saudi Arabia has the lowest English proficiency level and one of the lowest levels of personal rights globally.
How businesses can ensure safe remote work
Salas shares expert tips on where to invest in order to ensure remote work is as safe as work in the office:
- Invest in reliable cybersecurity tools.
- Strengthen cybersecurity measures to protect against potential threats. This includes investing in robust antivirus software, firewalls, and regular security audits.
- Train employees on best cybersecurity practices, such as recognizing phishing attempts and using strong, unique passwords.
- Enhance the infrastructure for remote access. Consider investing in secure remote desktop solutions, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and secure cloud storage.
The Global Remote Work Index by NordLayer was conducted based on four dimensions that focus on countries’ cyber safety, economic conditions, digital and physical infrastructure, and social safety. Here you can find the full methodology: https://nordlayer.com/global-remote-work-index/2023/methodology/
NordLayer provides flexible and easy-to-implement cybersecurity tools for businesses of any size or work model developed by the standard of NordVPN