Assessing the Efficacy of the West’s Autonomous Cyber-Sanctions Regime and its Relevance for India

by Sameer Patil
Observer Research Foundation
Short Summary
Cyber sanctions have emerged as a preferred tool for Western governments to deter cyberattacks emanating from their adversaries’ territories. As they implement such sanctions, however, these states face various challenges one of which is the difficulty in attribution. Moreover, the sanctions have only partially curbed malicious cyber activities.
Yet, the regime continues to expand, and many allies of the United States are emulating its practice of imposing cyber sanctions. This paper makes an assessment of the practice of cyber-sanctions among western countries and their effectiveness in containing cyber mischief. It also discusses the applicability of this coercive tool for India and the policy issues that are likely to emerge.

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