The White House yesterday announced an interagency task force and other initiatives to protect U.S. organizations from ransomware attacks. The task force has been coordinating federal efforts to improve the nation’s cybersecurity as directed by the president in April. In addition, the departments of Homeland Security and Justice yesterday launched a one-stop website for federal resources to help organizations reduce their ransomware risk; the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will convene (public and private sector stakeholders in August to discuss ransomware concerns and information sharing; and the State Department will offer up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of anyone engaged in malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure.
John Riggi, AHA senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk, applauded the actions.
“This is exactly the priority focus and coordinated whole of government campaign the AHA has been calling for long before the current ransomware threat emerged,” Riggi said. “We saw it coming and provided Senate testimony last December on the threat and have consistently urged the government to embark upon a coordinated campaign that will utilize all diplomatic, financial, law enforcement, intelligence and cyber capabilities to disrupt these criminal organizations, seize their illegal proceeds and hold the nations that harbor them accountable, as was done so effectively during the global fight against terrorism. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to help counter this national security threat and provide perspective from the field.”