This project is sponsored by a Global Financial Institution's Cyber Threat Intelligence Team (CTI) and written by Master’s students at Columbia University’s SIPA. The CTI team provides global support to the Global Financial Institution's businesses and operations, providing the bank’s leadership a nuanced understanding of current and emerging cyber threats. The Global Financial Institution tasked the SIPA Capstone team with responding to the following question: which rising nation-states are likely to emerge as formidable cyber powers in the next 5-10 years, and which capabilities indicate not only their cyber-readiness, but their intentions to potentially attack the financial sector? 

Through analysis of existing cyber power indices, the SIPA Capstone team developed a bespoke cyber power index with 14 capability indicators, used as a framework to determine the potential for a state to emerge as a cyber power in the next 5-10 years. The custom index led the Capstone team to identify the following states as emerging cyber powers: the Gulf States (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia), India, and Vietnam. All five states are shown to have developed or to be developing key areas of their private, government, and malicious sectors, which would lead them to become relevant players in the global cyber arena.