Russian cyberattacks have antagonized, bullied, and supressed neighbors and countered Western influence. The time has come for NATO to adopt a cyber strategy that incorporates active defense.
During the past decade, Russian government cyber actors have pressed the legal and ethical boundaries of cyberspace, testing the limits of what the international community would accept—often finding none. Moscow has pushed to see if there would be a proportional response from its cyber victims, and the answer usually was no, except to repair or limit the damage. If this increased cyber activity and presumed cyber strategy have revealed anything it is this: Russia is emboldened by the lack of international response to its cyber attacks, and it will continue to escalate the sophistication and lethality of this attack vector to antagonize, bully, and suppress Russia’s neighbors and counter Western influence.