Fri | Jan 15, 2021 | 10:59 AM PST

Ransomware continues to be a top priority for security professionals around the world.

In 2020, ransomware was used to target all different types of organizations, including a voter database in Georgia, toy maker company Mattel, K-12 school districts, and many more.

But it's 2021 now. We are all trying to put the nightmare that was 2020 behind us.

One thing that may help turn the page, at least within cybersecurity, is the newly announced Ransomware Task Force (RTF) by the Institute for Security & Technology (IST).

What is the Ransomware Task Force?

The IST just announced the RTF, which will aim to assist in ransomware incidents around the globe. They have said the task force will include organizations such as Andreessen Horowitz, FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Cleveland Clinic, Red Canary, Coveware, Chainalysis, among many others.

Here is what IST had to say regarding ransomware threats disrupting organizations:

"Ransomware is a flourishing criminal industry with an expanding list of targets. Private homes, large businesses, schools, governments, hospitals, and nearly every facet of everyday life are being targeted, disrupted, and held hostage.

Ransomware not only risks the personal and financial security of individuals, but  also threatens national security and human life. Attacks on hospitals can, and have, delayed healthcare treatment. Attacks on energy producers can, and have, shut down operations. Attacks on the energy grid, on a nuclear plant, or on any number of critical assets could have devastating environmental and human casualties.

Ransomware is a direct threat to our daily lives, and should be considered a clear and present danger to all corners of society."

The IST says that we can no longer stand around and wait, hoping to be not affected by ransomware. Now is the time to stand up and fight back.

"It is for this purpose that IST is facilitating the Ransomware Task Force, a broad coalition of experts from disparate sectors dedicated to producing a roadmap for ransomware mitigation. The objective is not simply to put forward ideas but to provide actionable solutions that can be undertaken in the immediate and long-term.

Since our initial December 2020 launch of a seasoned slate of security experts, academics, and nonprofits, we are pleased to expand our coalition to include lawyers, finance and healthcare experts, and other government and international partners."

The task force will be led by three co-chairs, John Davis of Palo Alto Networks, Megan Stifel of Global Cyber Alliance, and Michael Phillips of Resilience.

You can find more information about the IST's RTF through their blog.