UK ‘second tier’ cyberpower

The UK has been ranked as a “second tier” cyberpower by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), alongside China, Russia, Australia, Canada, France, and Israel.

Countries were evaluated according to a range of factors including cyber security and resilience, global leadership in cyberspace affairs, and offensive cyber capability.

The US was the only country given the position of “tier one” by the IISS, who predicted their lead will last for at least ten years.

One of the US’s many strengths is having businesses like Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Qualcomm located there - all of which have a large influence on the digital infrastructure of foreign powers like China.

Though China and Russia excel in terms of their offensive cyber capabilities according to the IISS, they were held back by their relative lack of defensive capabilities.

The UK, like Israel, gains improved cyberpower from its close cybersecurity links with the US, despite lacking the potential of the US, China, and Japan when it comes to developing to future internet infrastructure.

The UK’s relatively strong position in research and development and academia were also highlighted as strengths.

India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, North Korea, and Vietnam were allocated the position of “third tier” states by the ISIS, meaning that they have strengths or potential strengths in some of the categories but significant weaknesses in others.

The reported concluded that given “the secrecy that surrounds much of the relevant information, a ranking of the 15 countries in terms of cyber capability, based on the categories in the methodology, cannot be definitive.”

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