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We can protect ourselves against cyber attacks

Officials confirmed Tuesday the city had fallen victim to hackers demanding payment to unlock encrypted files. (Ian Duncan/Baltimore Sun video)

Baltimore’s leaders are right to be concerned about the recent ransomware attack that has affected the city (“A third of Baltimore employees have computer access restored after ransomware attack,” June 4). This unfortunate and costly event highlights the rise of cyber-attacks. However, they mustn’t let fear paralyze advancement and innovation. Organizations and companies must understand the potential threats and recognize their information collections as the critical assets they are, rather than potential liabilities. The wise management of information from source to destruction provides an opportunity to foster trust among constituents, customers, suppliers and employees.

Information security is now everyone’s concern. Organizations that implement a framework based on international best practice, such as ISO 27001, NIST Cybersecurity Framework or adhere to Europe’s recently implemented GDPR requirements, benefit by putting measures in place to mitigate risk and enable quick responses to any issues that surface. Diligent best practice makes a real difference to their success. We now live in a world where digital thefts exceed physical. It makes sense that government and business leaders should introduce and maintain excellent standards and practices to protect information in their custody and not allow fear to dampen their ambitions or impact day-to-day operations.

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Dan Purtell, Scottsdale, Ariz.

The writer is global innovation director for BSI.

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