Posted by: Tim Rains, Director, Trustworthy Computing

Twice a year we produce the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) – an incredibly detailed view into the threat landscape and threat trends in 100+ countries around the world. One piece of data that tends to catch people’s attention is the list of top countries that have reported the highest malware infections during the period.

As with many lists like these, there is typically a gap between those at the top and the bottom. As a result the question we are often asked is “what is country x doing right to have such a low infection rate?”

Inevitably the answer is always a combination of different factors. But just recently I had the chance to go to Finland and meet with customers and partners to try and identify the secret behind the fact that Finland consistently boasts one of the lowest malware infection rates in the world.

I met with TeliaSonera, a 29,000 employee company serving 164 million customers making it the world’s fourth largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the largest in Europe.  I learned how the company has created an automated monitoring and alerting system to identify infected devices, alert their owners, and quarantine the devices from the network until cleaned. 

TeliaSonera’s incredible innovations, and a genuine pride in being the ‘cleanest of the clean’, have helped it earn a reputation for safe computing. And the more time I spent with TeliaSonera I realized that we share similar thinking;  the way TeliaSonera keeps its networks clean is very similar in some ways to the Internet health model that Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, proposed in a paper he published in 2010 called Collective Defense – Applying Global Health Models to the Internet.

You can read more about what I discovered at TeliaSonera in a more detailed story on the Microsoft Security Blog - “Trustworthy Computing: Learning about Threats for Over 10 Years - Part 3.”