Hearing Report

Hearing Report: Combating Ransomware: From our Small Towns in Michigan to DC

June 28, 2022

House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism: Field Hearing in Lansing, Michigan


  • Iranga Kahangama: Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure, Risk, and Resilience at the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans at DHS
  • Matt Hartman: Deputy Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at CISA

The Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism held this hearing on ransomware as it continues to escalate as a threat to U.S. businesses across the country with a year-to-year increase of 98%. Specifically, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) called the hearing after learning about the breadth of the issue for small businesses and towns in Michigan who can’t afford a cybersecurity expert on their staff or cyber insurance to lessen the blows of ransomware attacks.

Iranga Kahangama began his testimony saying that ransomware is a nondiscriminatory tool of attack that leads to real world impacts; every organization can be hit by a ransomware attack and everyday people can feel its effects as seen through examples such as gas shortages caused by the Colonial Pipeline attack or food shortages after the JBS attack. Kahangama then went on to explain various services offered by DHS to assist organizations prepare against and respond after a ransomware incident such as stopransomware.gov, current efforts to better understand how to track cryptocurrency payments, and the soon to be stood up cyber attack review board to provide post-mortem recommendations for moving forward.

Matt Hartman noted that the process of raising the national cybersecurity preparedness bar is a long-term effort in developing people, processes, and technology with continuous investment throughout. Hartman then gave two recommendations: give organizations tools and guidance to increase their security and resilience and facilitate private-public collaboration to ensure all organizations have what they need to protect themselves. 

Find the full hearing here