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Cyber maturity in the Asia-Pacific region 2016

By Liam Nevill, Zoe Hawkins, Tobias Feakin and Jessica Woodall

The 2016 Cyber Maturity report is the culmination of 12 months’ research by the ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre. The report assesses the approach of 23 regional countries to the challenges and opportunities that cyberspace presents, in terms of their governance structure, legislation, law enforcement, military, business and social engagement with cyber policy and security issues.

The 2016 report includes an assessment of three new countries, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Solomon Islands. It also features, for the first time, separate data points on fixed line and mobile connectivity to better reflect the growth of mobile-based internet access across the region, its role in facilitating increased connectivity and opening new digital markets.  

Turning to the country rankings, coming in at top of the table for the third year running is the United States. In 2016 the United States continued to further refine its national policy approach to cyber issues, with President Obama’s National Security Action Plan and 30-day Cybersecurity Sprint, and the passing of the Cybersecurity Act. South Korea, Japan, Australia and Singapore round out the top five.

South Korea and Japan have swapped positions in second and third place, and Australia has leapfrogged Singapore into fourth place, recovering after dropping to fifth place in 2015. Australia’s improved position reflects the changes taking place as part of the implementation of the new Australian Cyber Security Strategy.

This includes the appointment of Australia’s first ministerial level cyber position (Minister Assisting the Prime Minister The Hon. Dan Tehan) and a new coordinator within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for government for cyber issues (Alastair MacGibbon).