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An illustrative impression of cyber with zeros and ones. Courtesy of valerybrozhinsky/Adobe Stock

Personalised Deterrence of Cyber Aggression

Elisabeth Braw and Gary Brown
RUSI Journal, 18 March 2020
Cyber, Military Sciences, Technology
Targeting individuals rather than states might be a better way of deterring cyber attacks.

The continuing occurrence of state-sponsored cyber attacks against liberal democracies, including private sector and civil society targets, shows that deterrence efforts have been less than successful. Elisabeth Braw and Gary Brown argue that adversary governments’ practice of hiding behind proxies makes response and thus deterrence extraordinarily difficult. As a deterrence strategy adding to the existing deterrence directed against hostile actors, they propose ‘personalised deterrence’, with governments of targeted countries communicating directly to individual cyber attackers their intent to hold them personally responsible through denial of benefits and use of criminal law.

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Elisabeth Braw
Associate Fellow

Elisabeth Braw is a Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on deterrence against emerging forms... read more

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