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CISA director says banning ransomware payments is off the table

July 11, 2024
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
The debate over banning ransomware payments was a key topic at a recent Oxford Cyber Forum, where CISA Director Jen Easterly expressed skepticism about such a ban being implemented in the U.S. Although some experts, like former UK National Cyber Security Centre head Ciaran Martin, have advocated for a ban, current consensus suggests that it could do more harm than good. A federal ban may drive companies to pay ransoms secretly, undermining accurate threat intelligence and risk management efforts. Furthermore, fake "data recovery" firms could exploit such a ban, increasing fraudulent activities. Instead, the U.S. is focusing on initiatives like improved incident reporting, shared intelligence, law enforcement action, and promoting secure-by-design principles to tackle ransomware threats more effectively.
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