In case you thought that people were overhyping the effects of ransomware, perhaps you should rethink that.
The Maersk shipping line, which runs container ships and ports around the world, among many other businesses, had to shut down some of their port operations after computers were infected with the NotPetya ransomware.
This week Maersk’s CEO says that the ransomware attack is expected to cost them between $200 and $300 million dollars due to lost business. At this point no lawsuits have been filed but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any and if there are, that would add to the cost.
That is in spite of the fact that they say that no third-party data was lost. Does that wording mean that they lost no customer data but did lose company data? They are not saying.
They are saying that they have added more security measures as a result of having to shut down their port operations.
Another company, Merck, says that it STILL has not fully recovered from the attack and said that the attack affected manufacturing, research and sales worldwide.
Part of Merck’s costs are going to be due to losses related to their active pharmaceuticals ingredient operations which “grow” certain ingredients. If the computers that control them go offline, it could affect the entire batch and depending on how long it takes to recover from that, it could dry up the supply chain for certain products.
Merck says that it does not yet know the magnitude of the impact on operations. I think it is safe to say that if they have not recovered from the outage after SIX WEEKS, the cost will be significant.
And last week, Fedex said that the cost of their downtime, missed delivery and lost business due to NoyPetya will be MATERIAL to their full year profit and loss.
So here we have three very profitable multi-nationals with sophisticated IT operations and who were affected by this recent ransomware. They are all saying that it will cost them a lot of money.
It is reasonable to conclude that if you are not ready to respond to a ransomware attack – of which there are at least hundreds every day – that your operations could be impacted and your finances will likely take a hit.
As the Boy Scouts say – BE PREPARED!