Will the new world order be reshaped according to the cyber prowess of a nation? Perhaps, it is way too ahead of time to answer that question. But a study by the London-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has taken a look at the cyber power of countries amid growing threats of online espionage, and ranked them according to their capabilities. India has been clubbed in the third tier of cyber power.
Along with India are countries like Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, North Korea, Iran and Vietnam. China that has a strained relationship with India is in the second tier with countries such as Russia, the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Israel. There is only one country in the top tier -- the US.
Greg Austin, expert in cyber space and future conflict at the IISS said that the information age is reshaping global dynamics. Traditionally powerful countries such as India and Japan have begun to lag behind, while smaller countries such as Israel and Australia have built cutting-edge cyber skills, as mentioned in a report in Financial Times.
The report, moreover, does not shed a very flattering light on China. It said that poor security and weak intelligence analysis undermines China’s strengths as a cyber power. It predicted that Beijing will not be able to catch up with the US’ capabilities for at least a decade.
Countries like China and Russia have proven expertise in offensive cyber operations, including online spying, intellectual property theft and disinformation campaigns. But when it comes to cyber security, they were behind their competitors.
Austin said that the media focused only on the positive sides of China’s digital advances such as its aspirations to become global leader in artificial intelligence, which exaggerated the perception of its cyber prowess. The report also said that China’s analysis of cyber intelligence is ‘less mature’ than the Five Eyes intelligence allies -- the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- because it is ideology-driven.
On the other hand, the US’ digital-industrial base, cryptographic expertise and ability to undertake sophisticated and surgical cyber strikes against adversaries set it apart.
IISS ranked the countries on the basis of a range of cyber capabilities, including strength of the digital economy, maturity of intelligence, security functions, integration of cyber facilities with military operations.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today