The United States ranks number one as a world “cyber power” leader, according to a new report from Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The National Cyber Power Index returned this year after its first edition in 2020, with the United States remaining in the top spot and China in the number two spot. Russia has now moved into the top three, and other nations have moved their way up the list, including Iran, Ukraine, Vietnam and South Korea.

“The Belfer Center team’s model for cyber power remains the most holistic and best model to date for measuring cyber power,” said Eric Rosenbach, Belfer Center co-director and former chief of staff and assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Defense.

“I am proud of the team for the work they continue to do to push forward this important conversation shining a light on a previously abstract, constantly evolving, and central topic to state power and geopolitics today,” he said.

The Belfer Center defines cyber power as “the effective deployment of cyber capabilities by a state to achieve its national objectives.” The report ranks 30 nations on several objectives such as strengthening and enhancing national cyber defenses; controlling and manipulating the information environment; and foreign intelligence collection for national security.

The 2022 index’s top 10 list of cyber powers, in order, is the United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, South Korea, Vietnam, France and Iran.

While the United States has flagged North Korea’s cyber activities as concerning, the country comes in at number 14 on the Belfer list. However, North Korea ranked number one in the index’s financial category.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.