In matters related to cyber resilience, India has proven to be an active proponent of bilateralism. It has initiated cyber dialogues with actors like the US, the UK, Russia, Malaysia, the EU, and ASEAN, all of which include capacity-building elements. Internationally, the country has also been especially vocal on the need to establish cooperative mechanisms for developing and implementing bilateral, regional, and global confidence-building measures (CBMs).
In the context of multilateral fora, India has many a time reiterated that the issue of supply chain protection enjoys particular significance for them, especially in relation to ‘trust and trusted sources’
when it comes to preferring suppliers of ICT products and systems. It has also noted
that capacity building actually goes beyond what is being dealt with under international security and is inherently tied to discussions on international legal instruments on cyberspace, where all states are equal and have the capacity to discuss legitimate matters under the auspices of the UN.
The March 2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance
states that “[the US] will make cybersecurity a top priority, strengthening our capability, readiness, and resilience in cyberspace.” Following the recommendations
of the 2020 Solarium Commission, the US government has adopted the concept of ‘layered resilience’ and is gradually rolling out a comprehensive arsenal of resilience measures across a variety of domains.
The US has been active in engaging in strategically-minded capacity building with partners; US capacity building in Africa with organisations such as the African Union and SADC, for instance, have been largely motivated by Washington’s wish to promote an open, secure, and democratic model for Internet governance across the African continent.
In relation to cyber defence, there have been several joint operations and military exercises, both bilaterally (e.g. between the US Cyber Command and the Montenegrin military) and under the auspices of NATO. Recent regional engagement efforts such as the dialogues in the context of the tripartite AUKUS coalition and the Structured Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the eponymous Quad) also heavily feature references to collaborative cyber-capacity building. In multilateral fora, the US has also welcomed the inclusion of confidence-building measures in the GGE reports and noted that, in order for CBMs to be useful, they need to be implemented at minimum on a bilateral basis and preferably on a multilateral and eventually an international basis.
Resilience constitutes one of the central objectives of Japan’s 2018 Cybersecurity Strategy
, whose core components include international cooperation in sharing expertise and coordination of policies, incidence response, and cyber capacity-building (CCB). Japan has traditionally argued
that global initiatives are required to reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities and has advocated for a tailor-made approach that takes into account the national situation of recipient countries and the importance of national ownership.
Japan recognises the ‘trickle-up’ effect of national initiatives, stating
that CCB “not only improves the capabilities of the recipient country, but also directly leads to enhanced security and stability in cyberspace as a whole”; in that sense, it disfavours the understanding of CCB as a “common but differentiated responsibility”, believing that such a view “does not fit the context” of international cyber cooperation. As a result, the country has assumed a balanced approach to CCB. On the one hand, it has successfully utilised multilateral fora such as the G7 and G20 summits to promote its own normative standards.
At the G7 Ise-Shina Summit in May 2016, for instance, Japan introduced the Ise-Shima Principles
, which included the enhancement of cooperation on CCB. On the other hand, Japan considers its own security and that of its nationals as intrinsically tied to the cyber capabilities of developing countries, since attacks on the IT infrastructure of regional partners can adversely affect Japanese trade. Japan has thus acted primarily through ASEAN to promote regional capacity-building efforts.