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The age of Cyber Attacks

Key learnings from Maastricht University

In the wake of Christmas Eve 2019, Maastricht University was hit by a serious cyber attack. Almost all Windows systems were affected and e-mail services, among other systems, could no longer be used.
On the same day, IT staff at UM, along with external  specialists, immediately started forensic investigation and repair work. On 24 December, UM put a protective "shell" around its entire network. In order to work as safely as possible, UM itself took all other systems offline. Everything was aimed at allowing students and staff, whether or not phased, to regain access to the systems as soon as possible. At a symposium on Wednesday 5 February, Maastricht University (UM) addressed the cyber attack that took place and shared there lessons learned. 

On the basis of the investigation, various recommendations were formulated that can be classified into the
categories of prevention, detection and response:

  1. Improve processes when it comes to vulnerability and
    patch management.
  2. Apply more segmentation within the network
    architecture and user rights.
  3. Implement or improve network and log monitoring.
    Practise with different crisis scenarios and improve the
    plans where necessary.
  4. Finally, critically reviewing the
    implementation of the above recommendations.

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Goals DigitalReadinessAssessment Strategy 041773 009bd9 554663 bdb6d8 7c7c7c adadad Dashboard Roadmaps Impact

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