The White House on Thursday urged U.S. companies to take new precautions to combat the disruptive ransomware attacks that have increasingly slowed down businesses in Western economies.
Jen Psaki, a press secretary to President Joe Biden, urged private industry to tighten access to its computer systems, saying the government “cannot do it alone.”
Anne Neuberger, a White House cybersecurity official, said in a statement that the “most important takeaway” of recent attacks, including those affecting a key gas pipeline and a meat-producing company in the U.S., is that ” companies that view ransomware as a threat to their core business operations rather than a simple risk of data theft will react and recover more effectively. “
“Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the equivalent of open doors,” Neuberger said. “Threats are serious and increasing.”
He urged companies to “back up your data, system images and settings, test them regularly and keep backups offline.”
Neuberger said companies should “ensure that backups are tested regularly and not connected to the corporate network, as many ransomware variants try to find and encrypt or delete accessible backups.”
The deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology also said U.S. companies should “test your incident response plan” because “there’s nothing to show the loopholes in the plans other than testing them.” “.
Neuberger said companies should use third parties to test their own safety work, segment business functions from manufacturing and production operations, and regularly test contingency plans “so that critical safety functions can be maintained during a cyber incident “.