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In an effort to enhance cybersecurity preparedness and increase collaboration with agencies and partners, North Dakota Information Technology will host a ransomware tabletop exercise with select North Dakota government agencies on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. In partnership with Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, the tabletop exercise will feature key personnel to gather and discuss, in a non-threatening environment, various simulated emergency situations.   

“North Dakota is well prepared in its cybersecurity defenses, thwarting thousands of cyberattacks on a daily basis,” Michael Gregg, Chief Information Security Officer, North Dakota Information Technology. “Similar to a disaster drill, by going through a real-life scenario, we can learn from each other and identify areas of improvement.” 

Ransomware attacks have become increasingly prevalent, targeting businesses of all sizes and industries. These attacks can have devastating consequences, including data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. The tabletop exercise will provide participants with a unique opportunity to test response plans, enhance collaboration, learn best practices, and share insights.  

"We are honored to host this Tabletop simulation for the State of North Dakota and share lessons learned from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42’s extensive experience in combating ransomware attacks that have reverberated through state, federal, and organizations across the globe," said Sam Rubin, Vice President and Global Head of Operations, Unit 42 by Palo Alto Networks. "These simulations not only bolster the expertise of cybersecurity defenders, it also pinpoints the pivotal business functions that play a vital role in an effective ransomware response. Organizations that proactively prepare for cyberattacks are strategically positioned to mitigate the impact of ransomware incursions, fortifying their resilience in the face of such threats." 

The event coincides with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month from The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA). During October, the public and private sectors are encouraged to review and learn about safeguarding their digital environments against sophisticated and widespread threats.

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