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The UK is ranked 23rd on the list of “safest” nations for data storage, behind most major European countries, a report has revealed.
These include Luxembourg, ranked 4th, Austria (7th), Portugal (9th), Denmark (10th), Finland (11th), Norway (13th) and Sweden (14th).
The UK also falls behind Estonia, Qatar and South Korea, according to the Data Danger Zones report by Swiss data hosting firm Artmotion, which ranks more than 170 countries on their ability to keep digital information safe, private and secure.
The ranking, which takes into consideration a range of security factors, including the quality of digital infrastructure and political stability, is based on a combination of independent data from the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Transparency International, Global IntAKE and Control Risks.
The ranking also examines more than 3.5 trillion IP addresses to assess the relative data safety of each of the 170 countries.
Although the UK lags behind most of Europe in the list of 170 countries benchmarked, it came in 15 places above the US, which at 38th, falls behind countries such as Slovakia, Bahrain and Latvia for overall data security.
The report said it is “no secret” that the US no longer holds the best reputation for data privacy, yet four out of five businesses still claim to be happy to host their data there.
More than 35% of the world’s public computing is also conducted in the US, with data giants such as Google, Microsoft and Dropbox locating many of their servers around the country.
Unsurprisingly, Switzerland is ranked as the least risky nation for data storage, receiving a “potential risk score” of only 1.6%, followed by Singapore (1.9%) and Iceland (2.3%).
The riskiest nation for data storage is Somalia, with a risk score of 92.9%, followed by Afghanistan (88.3%), Burundi (80,4%), Yemen (79%), Iraq and Syria (77.7%).
The 50 safest nations account for only 3% of those assessed, while 15% are considered to be danger zones.
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“More than ever, it is important for businesses and individuals to understand the impact that location can have on the privacy and security of their data,” said Mateo Meier, CEO of Artmotion.
“In the age of cloud computing, it’s easy to forget that every piece of information stored still requires a physical home, and that the geographic location of that home can have a serious impact on data privacy.”
Meier said the report is aimed at enabling businesses to make a more informed decision of how and where to store their data, and to have a better understanding whether or not it is truly safe.
“As our risk map shows, keeping data ‘at home’ does not necessarily provide the most secure solution. Instead, businesses need to find the solutions best-suited to their individual needs,” he said.
Meier said those businesses with the strictest privacy concerns may require a stronger approach than is available in their home nations.
“Similarly, those seeking cloud and data storage products have every right to demand information on how, and where, their data is being stored. If the location does not match the promised levels of protection, then perhaps it’s time to make a switch,” he said.