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Opinion
Tim Culpan

This Asian Nation Is a Quiet Leader in Cybersecurity

Malaysia leverages policy capacity with a broad network of international intelligence alliances to rate highly in the cyber-power rankings.

Alliances help Malaysia punch above its weight in cybersecurity. Above: Prime Minister Najib Razak gives U.S. President Barack Obama touring the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre in Cyberjaya in 2014.

Alliances help Malaysia punch above its weight in cybersecurity. Above: Prime Minister Najib Razak gives U.S. President Barack Obama touring the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre in Cyberjaya in 2014.

Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

While the U.S., the United Kingdom and Russia are expected to sit high on any list of cyber nations, one surprise name also mixes with the best, highlighting the value of having solid allies over technical prowess.

Malaysia came in eighth out of 194 states in this year’s Global Cybersecurity Index released Tuesday by the International Telecoms Union, a United Nations agency. With 98.06 out of a possible 100 points, the Southeast Asian country was only fractionally behind Singapore and South Korea, and equal with Russia and the United Arab Emirates. It’s been in the top 10 since the first report was released in 2014.