Emerging Nation-State Actors and their Implications for the Future Cyber Threat Landscape




Key Takeaways:

Cyber capabilities and the ability to leverage cyber power for strategic purposes are recognized by states within the international community as factors that can potentially disrupt the existing balance of power.


The advanced offensive state-sponsored cyber capabilities are mainly concentrated in a group known as the ‘Big 4,’ consisting of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.


Some nations with less developed cyber strategies, like India and Vietnam, have been actively working to enhance their cyber capabilities, which could reshape the global cyber threat landscape.


Despite limited funding for cybersecurity talent development, Vietnam has achieved success in using cyber capabilities to support its strategic goals, notably through a threat actor called OceanLotus.


Vietnam has prioritized the development of its cybersecurity strategy by emphasizing educational programs and investment in training courses.


India, on the other hand, recognizes the value of state-sponsored cyber capabilities and focuses on building partnerships with other nations, including the United States and Russia, despite their differing stances on topics like internet sovereignty.


The United States and Western nations currently hold a dominant position in cybersecurity development and norm setting. However, emerging nations may increasingly align with countries like Russia or China, potentially leading to shifts in accepted cyber activities and norms.

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