A north-east firm had to send all its staff home after being hit by internet fraudsters – and has still not fully recovered four months on.
Leaders of an Aberdeen-based company that specialise in preventing cyber-attacks gave the example as a stark warning to businesses of the consequences of not taking precautions.
The Wellington Circle-based firm, called TechForce, was to deliver a talk on the subject to 70 traders, academics and students at Robert Gordon University this evening as part of Cyber Scotland Week.
The talk was called Recovering From a Cyber Attack: Business Continuity and Lessons Learned and was to include speeches from leaders of firms hit by cyber-attacks.
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On the panel was John Duncan, who is now the senior advisor of emergency response and security at Total Exploration and Production UK, which acquired Maersk Oil in 2018.
Mr Duncan was the man responsible for Maersk Oil’s business continuity plan when it suffered a major cyber-security attack which brought its IT system down in 2017.
Leading the event was TechForce’s managing director Jai Aenugu, who told the Evening Express: “The Maersk attack was quite a well-known incident, and these kind of attacks are happening more and more.
“We know of one incident from October when a north-east company had to send its staff home due to a cyber-attack. Even now it is only up to 90% of its capability.
“Attacks can cause financial and structural damage to companies as well as reputational damage.”
Taking place this week, Cyber Scotland Week is a Scottish Government-backed initiative to showcase innovation and promote career opportunities across the sector.
Mr Aenugu added: “While these attacks can be very serious, help is at hand. Companies like ours can help businesses do all they can to guard against them, but also to recover should they be unfortunate enough to become the victim of an attack.”