Ransomware - Do You Pay It Or Not? - Experts debate the costs and ethics surrounding ransomware payments

To pay ransomware attackers or not to pay? The global cybersecurity community continues to debate this complicated issue recently brought to the forefront by the Colonial Pipeline attack. Governments around the globe are now weighing in on what they believe to be the right response to a ransomware attack. Some are even considering making ransomware payments illegal. Putting potential legal requirements aside, on the business side the decision to pay or not to pay isn't an easy one to make: On one hand, paying ransom encourages additional brazen attacks; on the other, organizations that choose not to pay the ransom may have to shutter operations or find themselves in the position of being unable to pay employees.

SANS is proud to host what is sure to be a dynamic debate of this issue. We're bringing together some of the top minds in cyber and ransomware incident responders to represent both sides of the debate. Our expert panelists will share stories from the field and their own experiences in responding to what amounts to hundreds of ransomware incidents between the lot of them.

There's no great solution here -- it's a real-life 'no-win situation' for cybersecurity. This debate will focus on providing practical and thoughtful advice that's based on real-world experiences dealing with ransomware. If you have a strong opinion on the issue, join us to see if you can be swayed. As these unique perspectives will highlight, the decision to pay the ransom or not is much more challenging than you might suspect.