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The White House's global ransomware summit couldn't come at a better time

As cyber threats ramp up, businesses and organizations will be hoping for more than platitudes

The White House has begun its second annual International Counter Ransomware Summit in which Biden administration officials will convene with representatives of three dozen nations, the EU, and private business to discuss the growing threat posed by data-destroying cyber attacks.

According to administration officials previewing the Summit over the weekend, the two-day event will focus on priorities like improving system resilience and developing better plans to disrupt ransomware actors in the planning phases of digital assaults.

The Biden administration said it was motivated to pursue a second summit after the ransomware attack on Los Angeles schools last month, which it said underscores the urgency of the ransomware threat.

Along with the EU and its member nations, participants at the summit include Mexico, the Republic of Korea, several African nations, Ukraine, the UK, Japan, Israel and others. Crowdstrike, Mandiant, Microsoft, and other tech businesses with a security concern will be present, as will FBI Director Christopher Wray, national security advisor Jake Sullivan, and other department leaders. 

President Biden is not expected to attend. 

Ransomware everywhere

Those who spend much time watching the tech world know that ransomware is an ever-present threat that's constantly in the headlines. 

Even with ransomware numbers down this year, there still isn't much good news. While lower than 2021 highs, the number of ransomware attacks in the first nine months of 2022 total more than every year on record, and we still have a quarter of tracking left to account for.

President Biden signed tougher cybercrime incident reporting into law earlier this year that requires a report within 72 hours of detecting a breach and the establishment of a national incident reporting system among other new rules, and it couldn't come at a better time

According to statements from the Biden administration this weekend, the US government is concerned that ransomware attacks are outpacing the government's ability to stop them, which it cited as another reason to hold the second summit.

Last year's International Counter Ransomware Summit was held online in mid-October, and as one would expect from such high-level international summits, much of what was discussed came out as platitudes.

In 2021, the international group agreed to develop a framework for international ransomware information sharing, improve anti-money laundering models, and use international diplomatic efforts to dissuade countries from allowing ransomware operators to function within their borders, which has worked great so far. ®

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