But real-time information sharing is one way legitimate groups can gain an advantage over cyberattackers, Schneck said. "That's what the adversary cannot do," she said. "The adversary does not own the network infrastructure; the good guys do. They can't do anything real time, as far as putting data together, we can."
In the country rankings, cybersecurity experts interviewed for the report praised U.S. efforts, including the creation of a U.S. White House cybersecurity czar last year. In recent years, the U.S. government has focused more on cybersecurity, they said.
Countries ranking in the middle of the pack included Japan, China, Russia and Canada, while Brazil, India and Romania received two and half stars and Mexico just two stars.
"In India, we went straight from no telephones to the latest in mobile technology, and the same with Internet-connected computers," said Cherian Samuel of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. Samuel was quoted in the report.
The ratings are based on the Cyber Security Maturity Model developed by Robert Lentz, president of Cyber Security Strategies and former deputy assistant secretary for cyber in the U.S. Department of Defense. Lentz's model pushes for resilient, predictive defense capabilities as opposed to reactive and manual or tools-based defenses.
The report makes a number of recommendations. Among them: Companies and governments should work together to set up trusted information-sharing groups and pump up public education campaigns focused on cybersecurty. The report also calls on companies to focus on smartphone and cloud computing security.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.