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Norsk Hydro cyber attack could cost up to $75m

March 2019 ransomware attack could cost Norwegian aluminium giant up to $75m in the first half of the year, according to latest estimates

The financial impact of Norsk Hydro’s ransomware attack is estimated at $28.8m-$34.6m for the second quarter, according to the company’s latest financial report.

Once again, the largest impact is expected in the company’s Extruded Solutions division, accounting for $17.3m-$23m of the estimated overall impact for the quarter.

In the financial report for the first quarter, the company put the impact at $34.6m-$40.4m, which means the impact in the first six months of the year could reach $75m.

The estimated impact for the second quarter is 20-25% higher than expected, with initial estimates putting the cost for the second quarter at $23m-$28.8m, according to Reuters.

Norsk Hydro is expecting some compensation from its cyber insurance policy, but it has so far not given any details of how much that is likely to be or when it is expected to be paid.

The company ascribed a 32% fall in earnings to $101m for the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago in part to the impact of the LockerGoga ransomware attack, but other factors include a partial shutdown of its Alunorte plant in Brazil and the ongoing trade war between China and the US.

The Norsk Hydro financial report coincides with an IBM Security report, which shows the cost of a data breach has risen by 12% over the past five years to £3.2m ($3.92m) on average globally, with a 10.56% increase in the UK in the past year alone to £2.99m on average.

Security firm Trend Micro recommends that organisations follow best practices to minimise the impact of ransomware such as LockerGoga, including:

  • Making regular backups of files.
  • Keeping systems and applications updated and using virtual patching for legacy or unpatchable systems and software.
  • Enforcing the principle of least privilege and securing system administrations tools that attackers could abuse.
  • Implementing network segmentation and data categorisation to minimise further exposure of mission-critical and sensitive data.
  • Disabling third-party or outdated components that could be used as entry points.
  • Securing email gateways to block threats distributed by spam and avoid opening suspicious emails.
  • Implementing defence in depth with additional layers of security such as application control and behaviour monitoring to help block unwanted modifications to the system or execution of anomalous files.
  • Fostering a culture of security in the workplace.

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