Ransomware: What You Need to Know

2 min

As we head into the summer months, ransomware shows no signs of slowing and appears likely to get worse before it gets better. While brazen attacks against critical infrastructure make the headlines, ransomware is a scourge affecting every sector, and no one should consider themselves too small or inconsequential to become a victim. We've prepared this primer on ransomware to outline the threat and to implore you to read the recent White House memo, What We Urge You To Do To Protect Against The Threat of Ransomware.

How Serious Is This?

Ransomware has been a growing problem for years, and recently it has rapidly escalated in scale and ruthlessness. Cybercriminals have felt emboldened by the relative lack of consequences and have become highly incentivized to engage in ransomware by the promise of easy and significant financial rewards. Private sector reports show a trend of increasingly larger ransomware payments, measured by both median and average payout, in the last few years, and no industry or organizational size has been exempt from targeting. It is not uncommon for ransom and remediation costs to rise into the millions of dollars.

White House Advice

However, becoming a victim of ransomware is not inevitable, and the threat can be mitigated with the right approach. In early June, the White House released a memo, What We Urge You To Do To Protect Against The Threat of Ransomware. We cannot stress enough that corporate executives and business leaders need to read this memo and take its recommendations seriously.

Getting Further Help

Addressing ransomware and understanding how to implement the recommendations outlined in the White House memo can feel overwhelming, especially for those who are not familiar with the legal and technical aspects of cybercrime. However, the legal, privacy, and cybersecurity experts at Venable LLP have decades of collective experience working with clients on these issues. Whether you need help understanding what the White House memo is urging you to do or want to assess the maturity of your current cybersecurity posture, or even if you require assistance in remediating a ransomware incident, Venable LLP can help.

Please contact Ari Schwartz and Grant Schneider for more information.