Nation states are increasingly bolstering their defensive and offensive cyber capabilities to launch and deter politically motivated cyber attacks. This does not only affect political processes, institutions, and election outcomes, but also a state’s critical infrastructure, economy, and society. Recent escalations and cyber attacks on power grids, parliaments, electoral campaigns, and financial institutions have made governments more aware of the double-edged sword presented by emerging cyber capabilities wielded by nation states. A new layer has been added to conflict prevention between states, i.e. international diplomacy, confidence-building measures and deterrence in cyber space. In this paper, we argue that stand-alone deterrence and stand-alone appeasement cannot solve the arising cross-national cyber conflict and prevent a cyber arms race. Only a concerted effort to combine diplomatic and deterring strategies can lead to an acceptable status quo in international cyber relations.