Recording: Online Debate: Should the Government Ban Ransomware Payments?

RUSI hosts a debate on whether the UK government should ban ransomware payments.

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Ransomware is causing significant harm to UK citizens, businesses and national security. Last year registered a record in revenues from ransomware, forcing policymakers to wrestle with one of the thorniest and most contentious questions in cyber policy: whether to ban ransomware payments.

In early 2024, the former CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, catalysed the debate on ransomware payments in the UK by arguing in a favour of a ban.

RUSI convened a group of experts to discuss the pros and cons of a ban, how it might be implemented, and what other options are available to policymakers to reduce the profitability of ransomware for cybercriminals.

Expert Panel 

  • Ciaran Martin CB, Professor of Practice in the Management of Public Organisations, University of Oxford, and former CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre
  • Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI
  • Jen Ellis, Founder of NextJenSecurity and Co-chair of the Ransomware Task Force
  • Jamie MacColl, Research Fellow, RUSI

Moderator: Conrad Prince CB, RUSI Distinguished Fellow and Senior Cyber Adviser


Professor Ciaran Martin CB

Distinguished Fellow; Former Chief Executive Officer, National Cyber Security Centre

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Tom Keatinge

Director, CFS

Centre for Finance and Security

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Jen Ellis

Associate Fellow, Founder of NextJenSecurity

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Jamie MacColl

Research Fellow


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Conrad Prince CB

Distinguished Fellow and Senior Cyber Adviser

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