Yahoo Finance’s Jessica Smith breaks down how lawmakers are responding to the latest ransomware attacks.
– Let’s turn our attention over to Washington now. Microsoft and FireEye testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss the growing threat of ransomware. Our very own Jessica Smith tracking that hearing for us. And Jess, I know it kicked off about half an hour ago. What have we heard so far?
JESSICA SMITH: So far, in the opening statements, we’ve heard from people just outlining the risk that you’re seeing, the growing threat of ransomware attacks. The stakeholders, according to their written testimony, said they were going to talk about how these cyberthieves are operating and how organizations can protect themselves. And in a memo ahead of the hearing, the subcommittee mentioned some of the potential policy responses that lawmakers might consider. Those include mandatory reporting on cyberattacks, prohibiting ransom payments, increasing cybersecurity requirements in certain industries, requiring more transparency in crypto transactions, and then evaluating cyber insurance company.
In her opening statement, the chair of the panel said that ransomware attacks are not new, but they’ve been exacerbated by the pandemic in the explosion of remote work and school, which led to new vulnerabilities. Let’s watch.
DIANA DEGETTE: It’s not just the breadth of targets that’s growing, the average size of ransom payments is also increased, reaching an estimated $312,000 per organization in 2020. Simply put, the time to address this crisis is now. To win the fight, we need not just a whole-of-government approach but really a whole-of-society approach.
JESSICA SMITH: Now, this hearing comes just a day after the US and allies did blame China for that Microsoft attack earlier this year. The White House said yesterday that it could eventually take more action against Beijing in response to cyber attacks. So we’ll continue to watch to see what Congress and the White House decide to do about this growing problem. Zack and Akiko.
– It certainly feels like we’re getting headlines on that front every week. Jessica Smith, thanks so much for that.