Atlantic Council Board Member and Scowcroft Center Distinguished Fellow Franklin Kramer cowrites for The Hill’s Congress Blog on utilizing sanctions as a response to cyber attacks:
Sanctioning North Korea in response to last year’s hack of Sony was only, as the Obama administration has stated, a “first step.” But utilizing sanctions much more broadly in response to cyber attacks could offer significantly more effective responses to the ever-increasing cyber industrial espionage threat facing the United States.
Working together, the administration and Congress could reshape the cyber battlefield by establishing a full-blown sanctions regime designed to impose real costs on cyber hackers and their governmental sponsors. Cyber sanctions would be most effective if Congress established (1) new governmental authority to block imports of products containing stolen U.S. technology and freeze assets of firms and sponsors engaging in cyber espionage, and (2) civil remedies enabling victimized businesses to recover both costs and punitive damages as a deterrent to cyber industrial hacking. The United States has long utilized sanctions as a key element of national security policy in the counterterrorism and nonproliferation arenas. Expanded cyber sanctions could be used in a comparable fashion to both raise the cost to malicious hackers and send a strong geopolitical signal to countries that encourage or actively support malicious hacking.