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Proactive cyber defense, means acting in anticipation to oppose an attack through cyber and cognitive domains. Proactive cyber defense can be understood as options between offensive and defensive measures. It includes interdicting, disrupting or deterring an attack or a threat's preparation to attack, either pre-emptively or in self-defence.
Proactive cyber defense differs from active defence, in that the former is pre-emptive (does not waiting for an attack to occur). Furthermore, active cyber defense differs from offensive cyber operations (OCO) in that the latter requires legislative exceptions to undertake. Hence, offensive cyber capabilities may be developed in collaboration with industry and facilitated by private sector; these operations are often led by nation-states.
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