Norway could dominate cross-country skiing events this week, thanks to several renowned athletes already making headlines. Whether its skiers racing past their competition or not, Norway’s cross-country efforts in computer security are already victorious, scooping up Microsoft’s bronze medal as one of the world’s best at keeping their environment free of malware.

Following last week’s introduction to this blog series, we’re happy to announce that Norway received third-place honors because of its low malware infection rates.

These malware infection rates are dynamic, and we measure them each quarter in our Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. In the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13), 1.6 of every 1,000 computers in Norway were cleaned, compared to the worldwide average of 5.8. Only 7.3 percent of computers in Norway encountered malware, compared with the worldwide average of 17 percent during the same period.

The most significant category of threats in Norway was Miscellaneous Trojans, encountered by 4.5 percent of all computers there in 2Q13, which was down from 4.8 percent in 1Q13. Other common categories were Exploits and Trojan Downloaders & Droppers, both of which have also declined over time. It’s worth noting that Norway’s rates were much lower than the worldwide average in all three categories.  More information on Norway’s regional trends can be found here.

As Norway continues to improve its malware infection landscape, other countries can benefit from their best practices. I asked Ole Tom Seierstand, Microsoft’s Chief Security Advisory in Norway to share his perspective on some reasons the region has enjoyed a low malware infection rate. His perspective is shared below:

“In Norway Microsoft is very grateful for the continuous working relationship with the Norwegian Centre for Information Security (NorSIS) and the NGO called The Norwegian Business and Industry Security Council (NSR). NorSis is part of the Norwegian government’s commitment to privacy and information security. Their aim is to make information security a natural part of everyone’s daily life.

NorSIS has done a number of things to help create awareness on the need for IT security such as sharing their insights on threat intelligence and contributing to NorSIS’ Stop- Think- Click (National Security Month)  campaign for increased consumer awareness on privacy.
Also, together with the NSR, Microsoft Norway has cooperated in several awareness campaigns aiming at improving information security in the enterprise market. The NSR has been established by the Norwegian business sector as part of a unified effort to combat criminal activity.”

Strong public and private partnerships that enable proactive and response capabilities is something that other countries with low malware infection rates have identified as a best practice as well.

Norway has built a long-lasting legacy of medal-winning performances — on and off the slopes. Join us again on Thursday to learn which country propelled past this all-star performer to win our silver medal.

Tim Rains
Director
Trustworthy Computing