EU developing a framework for joint diplomatic deterrence of cyber-attacks

The Council of the European Union launched an initiative to develop a “Cyber Diplomatic Toolbox” – a framework for joint diplomatic response of the EU to deter cyber-attacks and respond to cyber-threats. The toolbox should set range of diplomatic and political measures that EU can take in joint response to possible malicious cyber-activities by state and non-state, such as issuing condemning statements, summoning ambassadors, but also possibly introducing sanctions. This measure may be an attempt to balance the emerging hard power – offensive and defensive cyber-capabilities – that EU member states are developing, with soft-power measures, and might be efficient for deterring member states rather than non-state actors, Council on Foreign Relations reports. The use of a toolkit will not require a determination of attribution, and the attribution remains a sovereign decision of states that are victims of cyber-attacks.