The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) co-chaired the second meeting of their Joint Ransomware Task Force (JRTF) on Dec. 14, with a CISA leader saying that the task force effort is yielding “unifying” effects in the fight against ransomware-driven cyber attacks.

According to a readout of the meeting, members of the task force reviewed efforts and actions aimed at reducing the prevalence and impact of ransomware incidents.

The task force is an inter-agency body established by Congress earlier this year to unify and strengthen efforts against the ongoing threat of ransomware. The inaugural JRTF meeting was held in September.

During this second meeting, JRTF members discussed several activities the group has undertaken since it was formed:

  • Victim support: Standardizing Federal engagement with ransomware victims;
  • Measurement: Collecting data that will improve the cybersecurity community’s collective understanding of ransomware;
  • Partner engagement: Expanding operational collaboration and intelligence sharing between JRTF members and non-governmental partners;
  • Continuous improvement: Compiling lessons learned from recent ransomware incidents;
  • Intelligence integration: Leveraging the intelligence collection capabilities of all partners; and
  • Campaign coordination: Organizing existing interagency campaigns to disrupt ransomware actors.

“The task force has already made important strides in creating a foundation and unifying efforts to advance our shared efforts against ransomware threats,” said CISA’s Eric Goldstein, the agency’s executive assistant director for cybersecurity, and co-chair of the JRTF.

“The JRTF has unified capabilities and resources across the U.S. government to an unprecedented extent,” he said. “We will continue to accelerate progress and work closely with partners across the cybersecurity community to drive measurable progress in reducing the prevalence of damaging ransomware events affecting American organizations.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.