The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has urged local businesses to improve the security of their websites and networked industrial systems to guard against the rising threat of cyber attacks.
The council was addressing an information security forum on Monday.
During the first eight months of 2016, ransomware attacks grew at an alarming rate.
The Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) recorded 236 ransomware-related cases.
This is a 476-percent increase over the same period last year, Willy Lin Sun-mo, chairman of HKPC, said at the event.
“The proliferation of ransomware involves careful engineering and a detailed operational model devised by cyber-crime syndicates,” added Lin.
“They even offer ‘ransomware-as-a-service’ to other criminals with no cyber know-how.”
Senior consultant of HKCERT Leung Siu-cheong earlier told China Daily that, given the commercialization of ransomware, wrongdoers who are not even computer whizzes can commit cyber hijacking with ease.
Cyber gangs have also capitalized on websites with vulnerabilities and manipulate them for malware hosting and phishing websites.
They will then cash in on stolen personal data heisted from these websites, Lin said.
Another speaker was Dominic Wai, a lawyer who specializes in cyber security and privacy law. He said executives of local companies should acquire a thorough understanding of how cyber attacks occur.
Wai also said they should take a proactive role in cyber risk management.
“If you don’t know where the cyber threats come from, you cannot protect yourself from something you cannot see,” Wai said.
Ben Lee, head of IT at Hong Kong Internet Registration Corp, said he attended the event to learn the most up-to-date security measures against cyber attacks.
“Internet security keeps evolving. If industry practitioners have a better knowledge about cyber perils, we can better allocate resources to prevent and tackle the forthcoming attacks,” Lee said.
Hosted by the HKPC, the two-day information security forum, which lasts until today (Tuesday), offers a knowledge-sharing platform for industry leaders and practitioners. This will enable them to exchange their experiences and offer solutions to stop cyber crimes.