Brazilian companies rank worst among major economies on cyber security - report

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Companies based in Brazil scored “significantly poorer” in aggregate on a variety of cyber security indicators than those based in other major world economies, such as the United States and China, according to a report released on Thursday.

The study, from Massachusetts-based security ratings company BitSight, found that Brazilian companies underperformed on metrics such as machine compromise rates, email security and file-sharing practices in an analysis conducted over the past year.

Those companies were found to be more susceptible to having compromised machines because of malware infections, such as botnets that covertly control a computer network, a problem shared with U.S.-based companies.

“Brazil has significantly poorer performance than the other countries included in the study,” the study said.

Nearly half of Brazil’s companies engaged in harmful peer-to-peer file sharing on their corporate networks, a rate far higher than the quarter to a third of companies found in other countries, according to the report.

Only 11.6 percent of German companies engaged in peer-to-peer downloads, likely because of fines levied in that country for such activity, the report said.

File sharing can be dangerous to a company’s network if the origin of the files is unknown, as they may often contain malware.

BitSight’s analysis examined publicly available network asset information from a random sample of 250 companies per country in Brazil, the United States, the UK, Singapore, Germany and China.

Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Peter Cooney