Government Guidance for Preventing and Responding to Ransomware Attacks

On March 31 and April 1, 2016, the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (“CCIRC”) and the United States Department of Homeland Security Computer Emergency Readiness Team (“CERT”) collaboratively issued related Alerts (CIRC AL16-005 and CERT TA16-091A) that recommend various measures to protect against ransomware attacks. The Alerts also discourage ransomware victims from paying a ransom.

In March 2016, the Alberta Privacy Commissioner issued an Advisory for Ransomware to provide recommendations for preventing ransomware attacks. The Advisory recommends that organizations ensure that they have an incident response plan that deals with ransomware, and that they educate users about the plan. The Advisory reminds that if a ransomware attack results in unauthorized disclosure of personal information in the organization’s custody or control, then the organization might have a statutory obligation to report the breach.

Organizations should prepare to respond to a ransomware attack by establishing and testing a detailed incident response plan that will enable the organization to make important technical, business and legal decisions, including decisions about payment, reporting and other remedies. 

Read more here.

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