Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Sweden have earned the top places in this year’s annual FM Global Resilience Index.
The index ranks countries and territories, based upon their resiliency to a variety of business factors, including economic, risk quality, and supply chain. US-based insurance company FM Global relies upon internal data generated by property risk engineers, who “evaluate more than 100,000 locations annually around the world”, according to the index.
As the index’s most resilient market, Switzerland ranks in the top 10 for infrastructure and local suppliers, political stability, low corruption levels and economic productivity. Similarly, Luxembourg and Sweden provide businesses with political stability and economic productivity, as well as other distinct advantages, such as “passporting” rights to the EU single market and supply chain visibility, according to the index.
At the other end of the index, Hati, Venezuela, and Nepal are considered to be the least resilient markets. These countries have suffered from devastating natural disasters and high rates of urbanisation, especially in Nepal.
This year’s index also emphasised the importance of cyber security, as a determining factor for national resilience. The index considered “vulnerability to a cyber attack combined equally with the country’s ability to recover” when determining its cyber resiliency rankings. Each region’s inherent cyber risk was “captured by internet penetration (the percentage of individuals in a country who have access to the internet) and civil liberties”.
Overall, the most cyber-secure countries were located in Africa with Benin finishing first overall. Other regions considered to be among the best in the cyber resilience category, included Mongolia (second), Senegal (third), Namibia (fourth), and Madagascar (fifth).
On the other hand, the Middle East is the least cyber resilient region in the world, according to the index. Bahrain (130th), the UAE (129th), Saudi Arabia (128th), and Qatar (127th), finished with the lowest scores in the index’s inherent cyber risk category. Likewise, Russia (125th) and former Soviet satellite states, such as Azerbaijan (126th), were among the least cyber resilient regions in the world.
Despite Emmanuel Macron’s push to expand defence spending, including cyber and intelligence services, France’s cyber security has declined, according to the index. Compared with other countries, France experienced the steepest drop in the index’s cyber resilience category, as the country fell from 68th to 101th place.
Meanwhile, the index distinguished Taiwan as one of the most improved cyber resilient regions in the world. Since last year’s index, Taiwan’s position has improved 57 spots from 107th to 50th. Taiwan’s cyber resilience is likely to be tested in the near future with the number of cyber attacks considered “high-impact incidents” trebling between 2015 and 2017, according to a Financial Times article released last week.
“Although the internet transcends national boundaries, users, businesses and defences do not,” said FM Global chief executive Thomas A. Lawson.
Unsurprisingly, the US saw its political resiliency ranking drop from 31 to 46, which was largely a result of relations with North Korea and Russian. Yet in the face of this political uncertainty, the US remains a resilient business environment with each of its regions finishing within the top 15 of the index.