What just happened? Ransomware is a problem that’s getting worse. In an attempt to tackle the growing threat, a group of tech companies, security firms, and non-profits have created a coalition: the Ransomware Task Force (RTF).

Ransomware might not be the most common or financially lucrative type of malware, but with cybercriminals targeting local governments and hospitals, it has the potential to be the most dangerous.

Created by the Institute for Security and Technology (IST), the RTF boasts big tech names such as Microsoft, McAfee, and Citrix. It aims to create a clear framework of actionable solutions to deal with ransomware threats.

“The RTF will assess existing solutions at varying levels of the ransomware kill chain, identify gaps in solution application, and create a roadmap of concrete objectives and actionable milestones for high-level decision-makers,” states the IST’s announcement.

The RTF will also commission expert papers and engage stakeholders across industries “to coalesce around vetted solutions.”

The nineteen founding members of the RTF are:

  • Aspen Digital
  • Citrix
  • The Cyber Threat Alliance
  • Cybereason
  • The CyberPeace Institute
  • The Cybersecurity Coalition
  • The Global Cyber Alliance
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft
  • Rapid7
  • Resilience
  • SecurityScorecard
  • Shadowserver Foundation
  • Stratigos Security
  • Team Cymru
  • Third Way
  • UT Austin Stauss Center
  • Venable LLP

It’s hoped that by working together, the organizations will find more success in what often feels like a losing battle. “A lot of groups are trying to approach this in a sector-by-sector silo,” said Philip Reiner, chief executive officer of IST. “We can’t succeed if we stay in a sectoral approach.”

Last year saw ransomware attacks jump 41 percent as average payments reached $190,946.

Many large companies were hit in 2020, including Carnival Corp, Canon, Garmin, Mattel, and Capcom. The most recent piece of ransomware to hit the headlines was the fake Cyberpunk 2077 ‘mobile app.’