How To Stop Cyber Attacks From China

War is a means of influence the government can leverage to stem cyber attacks from foreign enemies. While this is always a last course of action for any cyber attacks, full counter measures must remain an option. In the extreme, there’s a traditional, physical conflict. But the government also has offensive cyber capabilities. Recent U.S. government efforts to minimize trade theft highlight these capabilities.

The Carrot and the Stick

The new steps announced by the White House in the Executive Order on Cybersecurity encourages the FBI to assess threats and provide corporations with information on potential cyber threats. This “stick” is used to punish countries that attempt cyber attacks. The government can empower corporations to create and utilize technologies that will help to thwart cyber threats they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

While not outlined in the Executive Order, the government could also economically incentivize good cyber conduct by other countries. Promises of non-compete trade status to nations who disavow cyber attacks could be a “carrot” too good for many countries to pass up. As countries such as China grow more dependent on foreign markets, they will have to make a choice: continue cyber attacks or be hit with trade sanctions.