Websense Security Labs, which has headquarters in California, placed Canada 10th on its malware hosting list and eighth on its list of countries whose citizens are likely to be victimized by hacking, Postmedia News reported Thursday.
The findings are evidence governments around the world should consider enacting laws requiring website hosting companies to root out malware, the Websense report said.
"There are no legal requirements to do so, as far as I know, anywhere in the world," Patrick Runald, security research director at Websense, said. "If you're Bell Canada ... that might be difficult to do but I'm confident there are ways to do it. That would be a great step if hosting providers actively looked for that malicious content."
Canada ranks high for hosting malware because it is a trusted source for Internet traffic, Websense said.
Data are increasingly at risk from malware because so much of it carried on laptops, mobile devices and cloud computers, Runald said.
"The way you protect yourself has to change from the big wall around your perimeter to protecting the data," he said.
"You rely on that wall to keep the attackers out. The problem in this world is that the data isn't always where we think it is."