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PolyU: 8 key steps to prevent from ransomware attacks

Recently, ransomware attacks have posed an increasingly significant threat to the cybersecurity of public organizations. These attacks target not only large enterprises but also public institutions, causing major disruptions in operations, financial losses, and damage to reputation. Mr. Darron Sun, President of Computing Alumni Association (CAA) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, pointed out that it is imperative to take necessary measures to actively prevent and mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks on companies. To raise awareness about the severity of this threat and provide recommendations for protecting organizations from ransomware attacks, here are some key preventive measures:

1. Regularly Backup Your Data: Implement a robust data backup strategy that includes regular backups of critical systems and data. Ensure that backups are stored securely and can be easily restored in the event of an attack.

2. Keep Software and Systems Up to Date: Regularly update and patch all software, operating systems, and applications to address any known vulnerabilities. Outdated software often becomes a prime target for cybercriminals seeking unauthorized access.

3. Implement Strong Access Controls: Enforce strong password policies and promote the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all user accounts. Limit access privileges based on the principle of least privilege to minimize the impact of potential breaches.

4. Educate and Train Employees: Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training sessions for employees to educate them about the risks associated with ransomware attacks. Teach them how to identify suspicious emails, exercise caution while downloading attachments, and promptly report any potential security incidents.

5. Deploy Robust Antivirus and Anti-Malware Solutions: Utilize reputable antivirus and anti-malware software across your organization's network to detect and prevent known threats. Regularly update these solutions to ensure protection against emerging threats.

6. Establish an Incident Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a ransomware attack. Test the plan periodically and ensure that all relevant stakeholders are familiar with their roles and responsibilities.

7. Engage in Threat Intelligence Sharing: Collaborate with industry peers, participate in information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs), and leverage other cybersecurity communities to stay updated about the latest threats and preventive measures.

8. Engage Third-Party Security Assessments: Regularly conduct third-party security assessments, such as penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, to identify and address any security weaknesses within your organization's infrastructure.

In the future, Hong Kong China Network Security Association will continue to enhance cross-border cooperation and information sharing to better identify, predict, and respond to cyber threats, and jointly promote the cause of cyber security to a new level.

Source: Hong Kong Polytechnic University Computing Alumni Association (CCA)


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