#Privacy: New US ransomware bill passed

The US Senate has passed a bill that is aimed to protect public institutions like schools and law enforcement, from ransomware. 

The DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act would authorise the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create teams to help both private and public entities defend against attacks.

Additionally the cyber hunt and incident response teams, will provide support and technical advice, as well as provide incident response assistance. 

In a press release, Senator Schumer said: “The Senate passing the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act is an important step in protecting Upstate New York school districts from the swaths of ransomware attacks that take hostage the personal information and vital data of our students, school employees and local governments.”

“It’s critical that we use all available resources to protect New York students from cyber crooks, and enhance and increase our resiliency to these attacks.”

The press release explained that the consequences of a ransomware attack are “devastating”, as victims are unable to access computer systems, “rendering them virtually paralyzed in today’s digital age.”

A report revealed last week that the educational sector has become the second most popular target by threat actors after municipalities, with 49 educational institutions and/or school districts being identified as victims of ransomware attacks since January 2019. 

A similar bill has also been passed in the U.S House of Representatives on September 24. Both bills will now begin the reconciliation process.

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