past event
National Security

Countering Ransomware

Ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and a top meat producer, JBS, have catapulted ransomware into the mainstream. In recent years, thousands of schools, government agencies, healthcare providers, and small businesses have fallen prey to it, but these localized incidents failed to trigger an aggressive response to match this scourge—until now. Ransomware represents a direct threat to national security, physical and digital infrastructure, and individual wellbeing. Learn how industry, government, and civil society are confronting this challenge head-on and turning the tables on computer criminals.

We are joined by:

  • Sean Joyce, Global and US Cybersecurity, Privacy & Forensics Leader, PwC; Former Deputy Director, FBI
  • Christopher Krebs, Former Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; Senior Newmark Fellow in Cybersecurity Policy, Aspen Digital
  • Raj Samani, Chief Scientist, McAfee; Founder, No More Ransom
  • Kemba Walden, Assistant General Counsel, Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft
  • Moderated by Nicole Perlroth, Journalist, The New York Times


Sean Joyce is a Principal in PwC’s Advisory Practice, where he is the Global & US Cybersecurity, Privacy and Forensics practice leader and a member of the US Advisory Leadership Team. Sean has worked with many clients in providing strategic guidance, investigative support, technological changes, incident breach response and cyber security advice. He has consulted in some of the most prolific cyber breaches, providing guidance and expertise to top executives. Sean has also briefed many boards and senior executives on the challenges posed by the digital revolution Prior to rejoining PwC, Sean was the Chief Trust Officer at Airbnb where he led Design Specialists, Product Managers, Engineers and Data Scientists to help grow and defend the platform.  Sean also served as the Deputy Director with the FBI and had daily oversight of the 36,000 men and women of the FBI and its $8 billion annual budget. With more than 26 years of service in the FBI, Sean brought a wide range of operational and leadership experience. He was an integral part of transforming the FBI into an intelligence-driven organization.  Sean is a 2013 recipient of the Director of National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the CIA Director’s Award, the DIA’s Director’s Award, the FBI Meritorious Medal, and the 2011 Presidential Rank Award.

Chris Krebs is a founding partner of the Krebs Stamos Group, Senior Newmark Fellow in Cybersecurity Policy at Aspen Digital, and previously served as the first director of the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). As Director, Mr. Krebs oversaw CISA’s efforts to manage risk to the nation’s businesses and government agencies, bringing together partners to collectively defend against cyber and physical threats. At CISA, Mr. Krebs also pioneered the Rumor Control program, which was designed to counter disinformation campaigns. Before serving as CISA Director, Mr. Krebs served in various roles at the Department of Homeland Security, responsible for a range of cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and national resilience issues. Prior to his time at DHS, he directed U.S. cybersecurity policy for Microsoft. He also served in the George W. Bush Administration, advising DHS leadership on domestic and international risk management and public-private partnership initiatives. Mr. Krebs holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Raj Samani is Chief Scientist and McAfee Fellow for cybersecurity firm McAfee. He has assisted multiple law enforcement agencies in cybercrime cases, and is a special advisor to the European Cybercrime Centre in The Hague. Samani has been recognized for his contribution to the computer security industry through numerous awards, including the Infosecurity Europe hall of Fame, Peter Szor award, and Intel Achievement Award, among others. He is the coauthor of the book “Applied Cyber Security and the Smart Grid” and the “CSA Guide to Cloud Computing,” as well as technical editor for numerous other publications.

Kemba Eneas Walden is an Assistant General Counsel in Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) responsible for launching and leading DCU’s Ransomware Program. Kemba started her career at Microsoft as Senior Counsel for Cyber and Democracy providing legal counsel to the Defending Democracy Program through the 2020 Presidential Election. Prior to Microsoft, Kemba spent a decade in government service at the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining DHS in 2009, Kemba practiced international trade law at the U.S. Department of Commerce and in private practice. Kemba graduated from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia with a B.A. in Political Science, from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs with a Master in Public Affairs, and from Georgetown University Law Center. Kemba also holds a Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) in the Law of Data Security & Investigations.

Nicole Perlroth is an award-winning cybersecurity journalist for The New York Times, where her work has been optioned for both film and television. She is a regular lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford University. She lives with her family in the Bay Area, but increasingly prefers life off the grid in their cabin in the woods.

Event information
Tue Jun 8, 2021