The White House charted progress today following the conclusion of its two-day virtual Ministers and Representatives from the Counter Ransomware Initiative Meeting, and outlined several priority efforts to reduce the risk of ransomware attacks globally.

The two-day virtual assembly hosted 30 foreign partners to discuss joint efforts to counter ransomware attacks. Among those in attendance: the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, European Union, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

According to a release from the White House, the governments recognize a need for urgent action, common priorities, and complementary efforts in combating ransomware attacks.

“Efforts will include improving network resilience to prevent incidents when possible and respond effectively when incidents do occur; addressing the abuse of financial mechanisms to launder ransom payments or conduct other activities that make ransomware profitable; and disrupting the ransomware ecosystem via law enforcement collaboration to investigate and prosecute ransomware actors, addressing safe havens for ransomware criminals, and continued diplomatic engagement,” a joint statement from the meeting participants reads.

The joint statement outlines Resilience, Countering Illicit Finance, Disruption and other Law Enforcement Efforts, and Diplomacy as pillars of this joint effort.

“From malign operations against local health providers that endanger patient care, to those directed at businesses that limit their ability to provide fuel, groceries, or other goods to the public, ransomware poses a significant risk to critical infrastructure, essential services, public safety, consumer protection and privacy, and economic prosperity,” the nations stated. “As with other cyber threats, the threat of ransomware is complex and global in nature and requires a shared response.”

The White House emphasized that international partnerships are key in combatting transnational criminal organizations, and said it hopes that this week’s meetings will “galvanize global political will” to fight against ransomware activities.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.