As Ransomware Threats Increase, The Wall Street Journal Turns to Shook’s Al Saikali for Insight

Following a series of high-profile ransomware threats, the U.S.Treasury Department is warning businesses that payments to entities could violate U.S. law and result in penalties.

In “Treasury Warns Against Keeping Ransomware Payments Quiet,” the Wall Street Journal reports on FBI data showing ransomware threats, which extort payment for returned access to computers, increased 37 percent from 2018 to 2019. The Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence issued a series of notices warning businesses to be wary of payments to blacklisted entities in places such as Russia and North Korea.

Shook Partner Al Saikali, who leads the firm’s Privacy and Data Security Practice, told the WSJ, “Many companies don’t report those payments for fear that authorities will shut down transactions needed to regain crucial business data.”

Businesses using a third party for payment could still face penalties according to the WSJ.

Large companies, in a variety of industries, turn to Saikali for strategic guidance when they are impacted by data incident response, privacy litigation, and compliance with the myriad laws governing sensitive information.  Chambers ranked, Saikali is a Fellow of Information Privacy and has multiple certifications in privacy.