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U.S. Government Launches Website with Informative Resources on Ransomware

As part of the ongoing response, agencies across the U.S. government announced new resources and initiatives to protect American businesses and communities from ransomware attacks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), together with federal partners, has launched a new website to combat the threat of ransomware.

StopRansomware.gov establishes a one-stop hub for ransomware resources for individuals, businesses, and other organisations. The new website is a collaborative effort across the federal government and the first joint website created to help private and public organisations mitigate their ransomware risk.

As ransomware attacks continue to rise around the world, businesses and other organisations must prioritise their cybersecurity. Cybercriminals have targeted critical infrastructure, small businesses, hospitals, police departments, schools, and more.  These attacks directly impact Americans’ daily lives and the security of the nation. This new resource provides useful information to learn how to protect themselves from ransomware and reduce their cybersecurity risk.

DOJ is committed to protecting Americans from the rise in ransomware attacks in recent years. Along with partners in and outside of government, and through Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, the Department is working to bring all their tools to bear against these threats. Business leaders across industries must recognise the threat, prioritise efforts to harden their systems and work with law enforcement by reporting these attacks promptly.

The website is the first central hub consolidating ransomware resources from all federal government agencies. Prior to today, individuals and organisations had to visit a variety of websites to find guidance, latest alerts, updates, and resources, increasing the likelihood of missing important information.

The website reduces the fragmentation of resources, which is especially detrimental for those who have become victims of an attack. The website integrates federal ransomware resources into a single platform that includes clear guidance on how to report attacks, and the latest ransomware-related alerts and threats from all participating agencies.

Ransomware is a long-standing problem and a growing national security threat. Tackling this challenge requires collaboration across every level of government, the private sector, and our communities. Roughly $350 million in ransom was paid to malicious cyber actors in 2020, a more than 300% increase from the previous year. Further, there have already been multiple notable ransomware attacks in 2021 and despite making up roughly 75% of all ransomware cases, attacks on small businesses often go unnoticed.

Like most cyber-attacks, ransomware exploits the weakest link. Many small businesses have yet to adequately protect their networks and StopRansomware.gov will help these organisations and many more to take simple steps to protect their networks and respond to ransomware incidents, while providing enterprise-level Information Technology (IT) teams the technical resources to reduce their ransomware risk. DHS, DOJ, the White House, and the federal partners encourage all individuals and organisations to take the first step in protecting their cybersecurity by visiting the website.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, any organisation can be the victim of a ransomware attack, hence reducing the risk is essential to make the organisation less vulnerable. A risk-based framework is important to determine the most important data to protect in the face of ransomware attacks is critical.

The most fundamental aspect of data protection is to clearly understand the data and identify which data is critical. Therefore, data assessment is necessary to figure out the amount of data, the place of the data, who has access to the data. All of the information about the data needs to go into an information asset register. Without it, the organisation will not know what data they lost once they get attacked.

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