The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, the U.S. agency tasked with shoring up the country’s cyber defenses, is beginning a coordinated effort to encourage public and private sector organizations to mitigate the threat of ransomware.

The Reduce the Risk of Ransomware Campaign aims to help companies implement best practices, tools and resources to help prevent ransomware attacks, which the agency says are costing billions of dollars a year. As ransomware perpetrators evolve and fine tune their methods, CISA wants to foster a working relationship with IT experts in the private and public sector so information about new ransomware attacks and new strains can be shared.

CISA’s push to spread awareness about ransomware attacks comes as news of cyber attacks and ransomware continue to dominate tech-related headlines and as ransomware demands continue to rise.

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“CISA is committed to working with organization at all levels to protect their networks from the threat of ransomware,” said Brandon Wales, acting director of CISA, in a statement.

“This includes working collaboratively with our public and private sector partners to understand, develop and share timely information about the varied and disruptive ransomware threats. Anyone can be the victim of ransomware, and so everyone should take steps to protect their systems.”

The campaign will have a particular focus on supporting COVID-19 response organizations and K-12 educational institutions. Those two sectors have been big targets since they’re likely to pay ransoms due to the mission-critical services they provide during the pandemic.

CISA wants companies to implement ransomware mitigations as part of their cybersecurity and data protection best practices. The campaign will be carried out on CISA’s social medial channels, giving technical and non-technical workers information they need to combat ransomware attacks.

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The agency also established a new ransomware resource page that includes alerts and statements, guides and services, fact sheets, trainings and webinars.





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