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Take steps to fend off ransomware attacks, federal ministers urge Canadians


By Jim Bronskill

OTTAWA — Citing a dramatic increase in ransomware attacks, several federal ministers are urging Canadians to bolster their cybersecurity practices.

In an open letter today, the ministers encourage organizations to adopt the latest security measures, build a response plan and ensure information technology staff are well-prepared to respond to incidents.

Canada is among the top countries affected by ransomware attacks, when cybercriminals hold crucial information hostage until victims pay a fee, often in digital currency.

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The letter says this year has seen a growing number of ransomware threats targeting Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses, health-care organizations, utilities and municipalities.

The federal Centre for Cyber Security has published a new ransomware playbook that outlines the most effective steps against ransomware and what to do if an attack occurs.

The letter says organizations hit by ransomware should implement their recovery plan, seek professional cybersecurity help, and immediately report the incident to the Cyber Centre’s online portal as well as local police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2021.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2021.