Focused on Pakistan Rather Than China, India in Tier 3: Report

A tier shows countries that have strengths in some of the categories but weaknesses in others.

2 min read
Focused on Pakistan Rather Than China, India in Tier 3: Report

A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a think tank, has revealed that India's offensive cyber capabilities is Pakistan-focused, 'regionally effective', and not directed towards China.

IISS has studied the cyber forces of 15 countries and then prepared the report.

“The military confrontation with China in the disputed Ladakh border area in June 2020, followed by a sharp increase in Chinese activity against Indian networks has heightened Indian concerns about cyber security, not least in systems supplied by China,” said the report.

The report assesses a country's capabilities in seven categories: strategy and doctrine; governance, command and control; core cyber-intelligence capability; cyber empowerment and dependence; cyber security and resilience; global leadership in cyberspace affairs and offensive cyber capability.


Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3

A tier denotes countries that have strengths in some of the categories but weaknesses in others.

India, Japan, Iran, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia , and North Korea are among the countries ranked third.

While US is the only country in tier 1 for its world-leading strengths in all categories, tier 2 has countries like Australia, Canada, China, France, Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom for its world-leading strengths in a few categories.

India's Cyber Capabilities

Greg Austin, who leads the IISS programme, said, “India has some cyber-intelligence and offensive cyber capabilities, but they are regionally focused, principally on Pakistan. It is currently aiming to compensate for its weaknesses by building new capability with the help of key international partners – including the US, the UK, and France – and by looking to concerted international action to develop norms of restraint.”

The report talks about India's flourishing start-up culture and a big talent pool which contribute to the Indian digital economy.

“India is a third-tier cyber power whose best chance of progressing to the second tier is by harnessing its great digital-industrial potential and adopting a whole-of-society approach to improving its cyber security,” the report added.

The report also assessed China’s cyber power and revealed that it clearly inferior to that of the US, and substantially below the combined cyber power of the US network of alliances.

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