The Ransomware Task Force, a group made up of more than 60 experts spanning government, industry, and nonprofit sectors, released a report calling ransomware an urgent national security threat and proposing sweeping recommendations to the public and private sectors on combatting this growing problem. The 81-page Combating Terrorism report begins by discussing how ransomware has evolved and grown into an increasing problem, threatening businesses and governments not just in the U.S. but across the globe. It reflects that in the third quarter of 2019 the average ransomware payment amounted to about $41,000, increasing exponentially to approximately $234,000 just one year later in the third quarter of 2020. Some of the recommendations proposed by the group include requiring victims to report when they make a ransomware payment; implementing an international law enforcement approach that would seek to address cyber criminal safe havens, such as Russia and Iran; and creating a cyber response and recovery budget fund to help victims. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already indicated it will work with the Ransomware Task Force to implement the recommendations, with Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressing his support during an event to mark the report’s release. “The task force's report provides a vision for what we can do to better address this urgent problem,” said Mayorkas. “DHS looks forward to working closely with the task force to turn its recommendations into action.” Read more at StateScoop and Nextgov.