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"The Ransomware Pandemic": Cyber Resilience Seminar Series

October 13, 2021



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    Over the last decade, cyber-attacks and intrusions have continued to increase both in number and sophistication.  The COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequent shift to living and doing business online, has only exacerbated this troubling trend as criminals and other malicious actors take advantage of our increased dependence on digital and networked technologies.

    The cyber threat is global, because every country is a potential victim and because cybercriminals take advantage of “the weakest link” and route their criminal activity through countries with insufficient legal structures or investigative capability.  Therefore, globally coordinated efforts to fight this threat are vital. 

    The Digital Development team at the World Bank is hosting this “Ransomware Pandemic” webinar, as the first DigiTalk event of our new knowledge sharing series of events on cyber resilience.

    The event will cover the increasing threat posed by ransomware attacks, and will focus on several themes: governmental response, economic impact, law enforcement, incident management, and capacity building.

    The webinar will feature a keynote address by Chris Painter, President of the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE) followed by a panel discussion featuring leading global cyber resilience experts.  In his keynote, Mr. Painter will discuss the threat to developed and developing countries posed by cybercrime, focusing on the increasing incidents of disruptive ransomware attacks that have targeted health care, public safety and the provision of critical services such as food and fuel distribution.  He will discuss the various actors who perpetrate ransomware, the need for international cooperation, and steps that countries can take to combat malicious cyber activities.  He will outline some of the steps taken by the US to target ransomware groups, the need to expose countries who provide safe havens for ransomware and other cyber criminals and will also address the need for capacity building for countries who lack the capability to meet this new and growing challenge.


  • Moderator


    Mr. Mark Williams

    Practice Manager, Global Knowledge and Expertise, Digital Development Global Practice.

    Mark is an economist with over 20 years of experience in the economics, regulation, and strategy of the digital sector, covering a range of specialist areas including strategy, policy, regulation, financial analysis corporate restructuring, and litigation. Mark has worked in some of the world’s leading economic consulting firms - NERA, Frontier Economics, Deloitte, and Berkeley Research Group (BRG). Previously in his career, he spent six years as an economist in the World Bank’s Global ICT team focusing on analytical work and operations in the Middle East and Africa.



    Mr. Christopher Painter

    Chris Painter, President of the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Foundation

    Chris Painter is a globally recognized leader and expert on cybersecurity and cyber policy, cyber diplomacy and combatting cybercrime.  He has been on the vanguard of U.S. government on cyber issues for over thirty years—first as a prosecutor of some of the most high-profile cybercrime cases in the country and then as a senior official at the Department of Justice, FBI, the National Security Council and finally the State Department. 


    Dr. Aswami Ariffin (Dr.AA)

    Senior Vice President of Cyber Security Responsive Services Division at CyberSecurity Malaysia and President of Digital Forensics Society, Malaysia.

    Dr. Aswami Ariffin (Dr.AA) is a cyber forensics strategist with more than 25 years working experience in cybersecurity; policy development, security assurance, threat intelligence, incident response and digital forensics investigation with various law enforcement agencie. Due to his immense contribution in cybersecurity, Dr.AA was awarded ISLA - Information Security Leadership Award in 2009 by (ISC)2 USA including commendation letter from the Attorney General's Chambers Malaysia and a certificate of appreciation from the Royal Malaysia Police in 2010. He also had been appointed as an expert referral by the New South Wales Police, Australia and now a member of the Interpol Digital Forensics Expert Group. Dr.AA is active in research and one of his papers was accepted for publication in the Advances in Digital Forensics IX. As the President of Digital Forensics Research Society (DFRS), he and his team have secured several large funds to develop digital forensics and cybersecurity capabilities in Malaysia. Dr.AA is experience in DevSecOps and one of his projects was the analytics system of cyber threat intelligence, codenamed “CyberI3”.



    Mr. David Satola

    Lead Counsel, Innovation & Technology, in the Legal Department at the World Bank.

    He has global responsibility for legal aspects of reforms in information and communications technologies, including telecommunications, the Internet, e-commerce, cybersecurity, data protection and open source software. He leads the World Bank’s initiative to build capacity to combat cybercrime ( and represents the Bank at GFCE’s Working Group C on Cybercrime.


    Dr. Maya Bundt

    Head Cyber & Digital Solutions, Swiss Re, Member of the Board of Directors Valiant, chair of the nomination and compensation committee, Member of the Board of Directors APG SGA, member of the audit committee.

    Maya Bundt is Cyber Practice Leader at Swiss Re. After developing the cyber insurance strategy and successfully building the Cyber and Digital Solutions functions and global team in Reinsurance, she is now responsible for cyber initiatives on Group level. Before joining Swiss Re in 2003, Maya was with The Boston Consulting Group, where she spent three years as a strategy consultant serving a variety of industries. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from ETH Zurich.


    Mr. Menny Barzilay

    Partner & Co-founder @ Cytactic & CTO @ Tel Aviv University Cyber Research Center.

    Menny Barzilay is a partner & co-founder at Cytactic - a cyber crisis management and readiness firm, catering enterprises, businesses, and governments globally. Additionally, he is the CTO of the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center at Tel-Aviv University. Menny is a former CISO in the intelligence services of the Israeli Defense Force (Capt. Res.) and held several tech-related managerial positions in the largest Israeli banking group. For more information about this webinar or Cyber Resilience Seminar Series hosted by the Digital Development Global Practice of the World Bank please contact Oleg Petrov ( or Hagai Mei Zahav (