Microsoft, Citrix, other heavyweights form massive ransomware task force

Ransomware is a persistent threat that eclipses all other cybercrime attacks. It can cripple businesses, hospitals, and entire city infrastructures. The lucrative nature of ransomware, with payouts totaling in the billions, means that cybercriminals will likely use the attack for as long as they can get a payday. Considering the vast number of ransomware attacks in just 2020 alone, it is clear that this is an issue that will plague cybersecurity for years to come. The Institute for Security and Technology (IST) has recognized this threat, and as of Dec. 21, created a task force to mount a massive effort against ransomware. According to a press release from the IST, the following organizations have formed a large task force with the explicit goal of fighting ransomware:

Aspen Digital
Citrix
The Cyber Threat Alliance
Cybereason
The CyberPeace Institute
The Cybersecurity Coalition
The Global Cyber Alliance
McAfee
Microsoft
Rapid7
Resilience
SecurityScorecard
Shadowserver Foundation
Stratigos Security
Team Cymru
Third Way
UT Austin Stauss Center

This coalition of companies includes heavyweights in software development, cybersecurity research, and malware defense. The stated goal of the IST ransomware task force is to create concrete defensive solutions over the course of two to three months. The official start of the IST task force’s work will commence this month, at least according to the press release. The actual work that the task force will engage in is lined out in the following press release excerpt:

The RTF will assess existing solutions at varying levels of the ransomware kill chain, identify gaps in solution application, and create a roadmap of concrete objectives and actionable milestones for high-level decision-makers. To contribute to the final roadmap, the RTF will commission expert papers and engage stakeholders across industries to coalesce around vetted solutions.

The IST ransomware task force is an exciting development in the fight against ransomware. Their progress will be followed and reported on should any breakthroughs occur.

Featured image: Flickr / Christiaan Colen

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