Cyber attacks are having a real impact on companies’ profits

In June this year a piece of malicious software (malware) surfaced in the Ukraine. It was named NotPetya and it soon began to spread across the world. The malware was a strain of Ransomware which encrypts data before demanding a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin, an internet based digital currency. The source of the malware was traced back to a software update for a popular Ukrainian accounting software created by a company called MeDoc.
 
Maersk was one of the companies that used this accounting software. Once on their internal network, the malware spread and affected their global network. This meant that they had to halt operations at 76 port terminals. This disruption affected critical aspects of the business and meant that employees had to resort to using WhatsApp on private phones to communicate, potentially breaching company policies on information security.
 
In a statement made yesterday, CEO Soren Skou said: “Business volumes were negatively affected for a couple of weeks in July and as a consequence, our Q3 results will be impacted. We expect that the cyber attack will impact results negatively by USD 200-300m.”
 
Skou has since come forward to say that he has taken personal charge of the situation by sitting in IT meetings and getting daily updates. Maersk wasn’t the only major organisation to suffer huge setbacks. TNT were also affected and are still yet to fully recover.
 
The above demonstrates that cyber attacks are having a real impact on companies’ profits, organisations need to realise that by following some basic principles of cyber security, these types of attacks can be stopped before they ever become a problem.
 
Moore Stephens has a dedicated Cyber Security team with real world experience in the shipping industry, we can help you understand cyber attacks and advise on how best to stop these types of attacks from happening. Please contact Steve Williams for further information.
 

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