March 05, 2024

Indo-Pacific nations need to put more focus on cybersecurity

Recent developments point to a troubling reality: China is increasingly embracing cyberattacks as a geopolitical weapon.

Last month, Japanese officials disclosed that Chinese hackers had intercepted confidential diplomatic cables through cyberattacks on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ahead of Taiwan's election the previous month, the island experienced a huge surge in Chinese cyberattacks. U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray, meanwhile, testified in Congress that Chinese hackers were preparing to "wreak havoc and cause real-world harm" by infiltrating critical American infrastructure.

Regional cyber insecurity could also limit the economic gains of digital connectivity.

Combined with ongoing Russian and North Korean cyberaggression and new artificial intelligence-powered threats, the cybersecurity landscape of the Indo-Pacific region appears increasingly ominous.

At stake is not just data security, but the depth of regional ties. Governments and businesses can only connect and cooperate to the extent they trust their counterparts' network security.

American ambitions to strengthen ties across the Indo-Pacific region cannot escape the reality of growing cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Viewed this way, regional cyber insecurity could benefit China, Russia and North Korea simply by hindering U.S. cooperation.

Read the full article from Nikkei Asia.

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