The U.S. Secret Service hosted a virtual Cyber Incident Response Simulation with business leaders, law enforcement and other private sector partners focused on ransomware and cryptocurrency attacks and mitigation strategies.

“The Department of Homeland Security is proud to be working closely with CISA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and industry folks like all of you who are essentially the backbone of our economy,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Businesses like yours make up one half to three quarters of the ransomware victims in this country, and the Secret Service is taking action to help. You are taking an important step in protecting your business and employees.”

The training was the eighth of its kind and the sixth virtual event conducted with the agency’s Cyber Fraud Task Force (CFTF) partners. Executives who play an active part in their organization’s cyber incident response were offered a simulated scenario to enhance planning, collaboration and information sharing between state and local government agencies and the Secret Service. The uniquely designed cybercrime crisis role-play simulation allowed participants to gain a better understanding of how to efficiently and effectively respond to a ransomware and cryptocurrency attack.

“Today’s simulation gives us the chance to learn about each other’s processes and practices, and capitalize on the lessons we all have learned along the way,” said Secret Service Director James Murray. “We have found that these exercises build and promote trust, and that is important because, as you’ll hear throughout the day, none of us can solve this problem alone. We need that high level of trust so that we can move quickly and effectively when the time comes to respond to an attack.”

As the cyber mission of the Secret Service expands, the agency has adopted a multifaceted approach to investigating a broad range of cybercrimes, including greater education and information sharing, as well as enhanced partnerships with state and local governments and industry leaders.

The event featured guest speakers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Guard Bureau, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and other leaders across law enforcement as well as industry executives who discussed a range of topics.