(RepublicanPress.org) – People initially thought of the internet as the final frontier, an emerging technology with vast possibilities. Sadly, with the rise of online scams, nowadays, it more accurately resembles the Wild West. There’s one particular cyberattack that is hitting organizations hard. Fortunately, there are ways to stop these crimes.
Ransomware is a relatively common internet scam that is wreaking havoc on large companies and government agencies. Ransomware groups work in teams to set up victims. Typically one party develops ransomware software, a second party gains access to the organization’s online operations or databases, and a third party deploys the ransomware.
Once the ransomware is deployed, cybercrime gangs then download sensitive data or gain control of it. Then, they threaten to release the data to embarrass or harm the victims unless they receive a ransom payment. In some instances, they seize control over company systems and demand a ransom to relinquish that control.
Goals to Stop Attacks
The Institute for Security and Technology’s Ransomware Task Force issued a comprehensive report on Combating Ransomware on April 29. The task force included cyber experts from academia, private tech and security firms, and government agencies.
The report contained four key goals when addressing ransomware:
- Deter attacks by using nationally and internationally coordinated strategies
- Disrupt cyber criminals’ business models and decrease the amount of profits they can gain
- Work with organizations, businesses, and government agencies to prepare them for attacks
- Respond to attacks with greater haste and efficiency
The report also said the White House should develop a comprehensive strategy for reducing ransomware attacks nationwide. This would entail creating an interagency working group and a government-led Joint Ransomware Task Force to coordinate with a Ransomware Threat Focus Hub operated in the private sector.
It also recommended the White House make ransomware attacks a priority for investigative bodies and prosecutions. It should communicate this directive to the public and interagency throughout government departments.
As the Ransomware Task Force noted, ransomware attacks are an “urgent national security risk that threatens schools, hospitals, businesses, and governments.” Hopefully, the Biden administration heeds their advice.
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