As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose the vulnerabilities of the cyber ecosystem, the catastrophic consequences of ransomware are becoming increasingly evident.
In recent months, health systems have been compromised, critical supply chains disrupted, and vital public services brought to a halt as organizations work to respond to these incidents.
Recognizing this growing threat and the necessity of a whole-of-society approach to tackling it, a US-led coalition of industry experts, policymakers, and civil society organizations have published a framework for combatting ransomware.
Among several recommendations, the Ransomware Task Force stressed the importance of a unified, expert-driven, international coalition to position ransomware as a national security threat and award it attention accordingly.
But as global digital divides persist and cyber proficiency continues to vary from state to state, how applicable is this framework in a global context?
Our panellists will try to answer the following questions:
- How does the task force fit in with existing international conversations on cybercrime and the stability of cyberspace more generally?
- What are the key variations in how the threat of ransomware is received and understood by nations with varying cyber capacities, and how will this impact implementation of recommendations?
- How will a framework for government and industry protect citizens, individuals and small and medium businesses?
- What mechanisms are in place to ensure that efforts to combat ransomware are flexible and not static and reflect technical developments and geopolitical realities?
Chair: Joyce Hakmeh, Senior Researcher, International Security Programme, Chatham House
Chris Painter, Associate Fellow, International Security Programme, Chatham House; Co-Chair, Ransomware Task Force Working Group
Jen Ellis, Vice President, Community and Public Affairs, Rapid7; Co-Chair, Ransomware Task Force Working Group
Dr Jason Nurse, Associate Professor in Cyber Security, University of Kent; Visiting Academic, University of Oxford
Allison Peters, Senior Advisor, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US State Department