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Because of the lack of visibility between private industry and U.S. intelligence networks, the best thing the U.S. can do to deter cybercriminals and defend its networks is to draw some clear “red lines” for nations, Mr. Henry said.

Cyber is merely a weapon. People talk to me about cyber as if it’s all new. There’s nothing new about organized crime groups, nation-state espionage, terrorists. These are all activities that have occurred dozens of years, hundreds of years, some of them,” he said. “There are more things the U.S. government can do.

“[It] can have some pretty candid conversations with heads of state and other governments about what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable and what the red lines are,” Mr. Henry said. “Maybe there are some civil actions, maybe there are some economic sanctions or diplomatic measure that are taken. But the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens, and its citizens aren’t being protected in this space.”