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OAS and AWS Present White Paper "Challenges and Strategies: Considerations on Ransomware Attacks in the Americas”

  September 7, 2023

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company, today presented the white paper "Challenges and Strategies: Considerations on Ransomware Attacks in the Americas,". a report focused on how this digital threat has become a significant point of reflection for both the public and private sectors.

Ransomware is a type of malware that typically hijacks and encrypts files on a storage system, then demands a ransom, usually through cryptocurrency payments, with no guarantee that all files can be decrypted or returned to their original condition. The cyber threat presents significant risks and threats to global security. This is not only due to its versatility and capacity for action but also because it expands and impacts both financially and reputationally and at the organizational level.

Ransomware attacks are a significant challenge in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where the CICTE General Secretariat focuses its efforts. In light of these trends, CICTE, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, seeks with this report to help stakeholders respond proactively rather than reactively. The paper addresses a research gap by analyzing how ransomware attacks occur. Moreover, it provides recommendations for decision-makers in public and private sector organizations based on international best practices and drawing on recent events in Latin America.

The report was presented during the event "Tech Envoy Series—Countering Ransomware's Hostile Takeover," hosted by the Meridian International Center, in which diplomats, private sector tech leaders, and members of the U.S. government discussed the best practices to counter ransomware.
The Tech Envoy Series promotes dialogues on ways the public and private sectors can join forces with civil society to tackle today’s most significant challenges, like ransomware, through technology.

The OAS Deputy Executive Secretary for the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), Violanda Botet, said, “Ransomware is not an isolated threat to a specific sector, instead it is a threat that can impact any sector; that is why it requires collaborative efforts and the implementation of a series of coordinated actions. Cooperation and the adoption of methods, standards, and, most importantly, best practices to mitigate the impact of these attacks in the immediate and long term should be a top priority of all of us. Member states have the full support of the Executive Secretariat of CICTE at the OAS to promote and advance that cooperation.”

AWS Public Sector Manager for Business Development, Abby Daniel, highlighted that security is AWS' top priority. "For AWS, it is imperative to help customers learn best practices for countering ransomware attacks, which include conducting simulations to create a procedural and practical memory for customers, thus making them better prepared," she said and added, "We are pleased to partner with the OAS to share this ransomware white paper that encourages organizations to adapt security practices in their operations and innovate along the way."

Press contact: Isabella Rolz Sandoval ([email protected])

Reference: E-050/23