The U.S. Secret Service hosted a virtual Cyber Incident Response Simulation on March 24 with state and municipal government officials focused on ransomware attacks and mitigation strategies. Ransomware is a type of malicious software cyber criminals use to deny access to systems or data. The malicious cyber actor holds systems or data hostage until the ransom is paid. After the initial infection, the ransomware attempts to spread to shared storage drives and other accessible systems. If the demands are not met, the system or encrypted data remain unavailable, and may be deleted.
The training was the seventh of its kind and the fifth virtual event conducted with the agency’s Cyber Fraud Task Force (CFTF) partners. Executives who play an active part in their organization’s cyber incident response were offered a simulated scenario to enhance planning, collaboration and information sharing between state and local government agencies and the Secret Service. The uniquely designed cybercrime crisis role-play simulation allowed participants to gain a better understanding of how to efficiently and effectively respond to a ransomware attack.
“Today’s simulation gives us the chance to learn about each other’s processes, strengths and successes, and capitalize on lessons learned,” said Secret Service Director James Murray. “These simulations, in our experience, also build and promote trust. None of us can fight cybercrime alone. We need each other’s support to ensure we can move quickly and effectively when the time comes to respond.”
As the cyber mission of the Secret Service expands, the agency has adopted a multifaceted approach to investigating a broad range of cybercrimes, including greater education and information sharing, as well as enhanced partnerships with state and local governments and industry leaders.
The event featured guest speakers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Guard Bureau, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and other leaders across law enforcement as well as industry executives who discussed a range of topics.