Private Sector Essential for Combating Ransomware


Governance & Risk Management

Strong Public-Private Collaboration Key for Maximum Cybersecurity, Officials Say

Europol: Private Sector Essential for Combating Ransomware
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A top European cybercrime official extolled public-private cooperation during a Tuesday conference, saying collaboration is helping in the ongoing fight against ransomware. Consulting with cybersecurity specialists over policy is also a must, said an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development official.

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Private sector security organizations play an important role in threat prevention and mitigation, Emmanuel Kessler, the head of prevention and awareness at Europol cybercrime center EC3, said in a panel discussion during a cybersecurity conference Tuesday in London.

Kessler touted Europol’s No More Ransom, a platform that makes available ransomware decryption keys, as an example of a successful public-private partnership.

Collaborative operations has helped Europol obtain “a larger picture” about ransomware, and in some cases it has assisted in dismantling cybercrime infrastructure, Kessler said. One example he gave is the 2022 takedown of VPNLabs, which criminals used to facilitate malware distribution, ransomware deployment and the infrastructure behind ransomware campaigns. Another is a December 2022 crackdown on a distributed denial-of-service booster website.

Peter Stephens, policy adviser for digital security at Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, said he hopes for more initiatives such as the Hackers on the Hill in the United States, where security researchers meet with congressional staffers.

“We need to keep reviewing the impact of cyber legislation on the industry and also consult about what would be the proportionate form of legislation. So, that part of the negotiation has to be very open-ended with consultation and calls for evidence, to reach out to people who are impacted by the regulation,” he said.


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