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Cyber Maturity in the Asia Pacific Region 2017

By Fergus Hanson, Tom Uren, Fergus Ryan, Michael Chi, Jack Viola and Eliza Chapman

The Cyber Maturity in the Asia–Pacific Region report is the flagship annual publication of the ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre.

This report assesses the national approach of Asia–Pacific countries to the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace, taking a holistic approach that assesses governance and legislation, law enforcement, military capacity and policy involvement, and business and social engagement in cyber policy and security issues.

The 2017 report is the fourth annual cyber maturity report. It covers 25 countries and includes assessment of Taiwan and Vanuatu for the first time.

The United States continues its leadership of the country rankings and although the transition to the Trump administration caused a pause while cyber policy was reviewed, the US military is recognising the importance of cyber capability and elevating US Cyber Command to a unified combatant command to give it increased independence and broader authorities.

Australia has moved up in our rankings from fourth to equal second on the back of continued investment in governance reform and implementation of the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy. Australia’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy was released and the 2017 Independent Intelligence review made a number of recommendations that strengthen Australia’s cyber security posture – this includes broadening the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) mandate as a national cyber security authority and clarifying ministerial responsibility for cyber security and the ACSC,.

Japan (equal second with Australia), Singapore, and South Korea round out a very close top five countries. All countries in this leading group have improved their overall cyber maturity although very tight margins have seen some change in rankings: Australian and Japan moving up to equal second and Singapore and South Korea dropping to fourth and fifth.

Taiwan and Vanuatu both made strong initial entries into the Cyber Maturity Report. Taiwan ranked ninth, just behind China, hampered by difficulties with international engagement, while Vanuatu came seventeenth, best of the Pacific islands.