Ransomware payments can make companies face harsh penalties and sanctions from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network says a latest update issued by FBI.
Yes, to those uninitiated, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an advisory at the same time last year that all those companies who have been victimized by ransomware should avoid ransom payments as it not only encourages crime; but also doesn’t guaranty a decryption key in return.
Adding to this advisory, the OFAC has warned businesses against payment of ransoms to certain group of cyber attackers and digital currency addresses who have been under their radar of sanctions from the past few months.
Thus, businesses that have been victimized by ransomware should avoid payments or else they will have to face significant civil and criminal penalties and sometimes sanctions that tag the business as illegal leading to its shut down on a permanent note- all in the interest of national security.
OFAC has clearly specified in its latest advisory that the guidelines include all those companies operating in Financial, manufacturing, tech and healthcare sector.
Therefore, it is better if companies focus on proactive security measures to avoid such penalties from the federal authorities. And that can be done by taking backups of data from time to time, having a disaster recovery plan in place, educating employees about the current cyber landscape, and using genuine softwares and keeping them updated with the required patches from time to time.