CISA and Spain Partnership to Develop Tool to Help Countries Combat Ransomware

Credit: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, are partnering to develop a tool to help countries utilize public-private partnerships (PPPs) to combat ransomware, CISA announced in a prepared statement

This project was developed as part of the Second International Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI) Summit in Washington, D.C., according to CISA, the nation’s cyber defense agency. The CRI is a global coalition of 36 partner nations and the European Union dedicated to confronting the scourge of ransomware.

Brandon Wales, CISA Executive Director explained the purpose behind the partnership with Spain:

“Building capacity across the world is an essential aspect of our fight against ransomware. By learning from each other — public and private sector alike — and sharing that knowledge more broadly, we can effectively protect the critical infrastructure necessary to sustain not only American society, but the global institutions and networks upon which it relies.”

Partnership Deepens Ransomware Defense Capabilities

The CRI’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Working Group, chaired by Spain, has focused on the essential need for close collaboration between governments and the private sector to address the challenges posed by ransomware, CISA said. This tool will provide much needed guidance to nations around the world seeking to develop or deepen such public-private partnerships.

Guillermo Ardizone Garcίa, Political Director of Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained the partnership’s advantage to his country:

“Spain has the strong conviction that this project will contribute in a decisive manner to expose the most innovative state of the art of PPP best practices to fight against ransomware. Thereby, all multi-stakeholders and partners involved in the CRI will be benefited from this line of action. Spain will actively encourage state and non-state stakeholders to join in this project poised to broadly share the PPP best practices, including creative financing schemes.”

Developing Guidance Against Ransomware Attacks

When completed, the tool will feature a series of case studies of PPPs that have been used in the counter-ransomware fight, including those pioneered by members of the CRI P3 Working Group, CISA said. The tool will highlight the features that made these efforts successful. It will be designed to provide practical guidance to countries looking to implement their own PPPs as part of their national counter-ransomware efforts.

To develop the tool, the U.S. and Spain are partnering with the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE). GFCE is a global leader in cyber capacity building that will commission experts to deliver the tool. Other CRI members have been invited to provide additional financial and practical support to the project.

CISA also co-leads, with FBI, the Joint Ransomware Task Force, established in May 2022 to conduct a variety of activities to coordinate an ongoing nationwide campaign against ransomware attacks, in addition to identifying and pursuing opportunities for international cooperation.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.