Sec. Raimondo: Ransomware attacks ‘here to stay,’ urges businesses to prepare

US & World

WASHINGTON (WPRI) — Impacts are still being felt from the latest ransomware attack on the Massachusetts Steamship Authority, and White House officials are urging businesses to take more precautions against future attacks.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said businesses should assume ransomware attacks “are here to stay and, if anything, will intensify.”

“Just last week the White House sent out a letter broadly to the business community urging the business community to do more,” Raimondo said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday.

“The thing the only good news here is that some very simple steps like Two-Factor authentication, having proper backups and backup technology can be enormously helpful against a wide variety of these attacks,” she continued.

Raimondo said while the private sector needs to be more vigilant, President Biden “has been clear” the federal government will do more.

“In fact, certain components of the American jobs plan provide for investments to shore up the nation’s cyberinfrastructure, which is just another reason why it’s so important that the AJP passes,” she added.

When asked by Stephanopolous if it was time for the Biden Administration to take a more aggressive approach and target the source of the attacks, Raimondo declined to blame Russia, who is believed to be behind some of the attacks.

“The president has been clear, we are evaluating all of the options and we won’t stand for a nation supporting or turning a blind eye to a criminal enterprise,” Raimondo said. “And as the president has said, we’re considering all of our options and we’re not taking anything off the table as we think about possible repercussions, consequences or retaliation.”

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