President Joe Biden’s administration is pushing corporate executives and business leaders to follow various steps in an effort to prevent future ransomware attacks, according to a new memo.
The memo, from Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger, comes after a series of ransomware attacks that have affected America’s economy.
“The private sector also has a critical responsibility to protect against these threats,” Neuberger wrote in the memo, which was obtained by the Daily Caller from the White House. “All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by ransomware, regardless of size or location. But there are immediate steps you can take to protect yourself, as well as your customers and the broader economy.”
It continues on to list five steps the administration is urging businesses to implement. These steps include backing up data and testing it regularly, updating and patching systems in a timely manner, segmenting networks, checking the work of the security team and testing a company’s incident response plan.
The memo notes that, in addition to U.S. organizations, ransomware attacks have disrupted companies around the world. (RELATED: Cyber Experts Warn Pipeline Hack Could Be Just The Beginning)
“We urge you to take these critical steps to protect your organizations and the American public. The U.S. Government is working with countries around the world to hold ransomware actors and the countries who harbor them accountable, but we cannot fight the threat posed by ransomware alone,” according to the memo. “The private sector has a distinct and key responsibility. The federal government stands ready to help you implement these best practices.”
Also mentioned is Biden’s executive order dubbed “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,” which details the above practices. This executive order “is being implemented with speed and urgency across the Federal Government,” according to the memo.
JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, was targeted in a ransomware attack May 30. Prior to that, Colonial Pipeline was targeted in an attack that shut down systems and sparked fuel shortages across the Southeast U.S.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Biden plans to press Russian President Vladimir Putin on recent hacking attacks, which have been found to have originated from Russia-based groups.