The first quarter profits for Norsk Hydro sank after the Norwegian aluminum and renewable energy company fell victim to a ransomware attack.
According to Reuters, Norsk Hydro’s gains fell to 559 million Norwegian crowns (approximately $64.3 million at the time of reporting) in the first quarter of 2019. That number is down from 3.15 billion crowns a year earlier, constituting a drop of 82 percent. Even so, it was greater than 123 million crowns, the average expected earnings among analysts who participated in a Reuters poll.
The share price for the aluminum company fell by 20 percent during the same time period.
Norsk Hydro had originally intended to release its Q1 2019 earnings report on 30 April. However, the manufacturer ultimately postponed that release date by five weeks after digital attackers affected the company’s ability to interact with its reporting, billing and invoicing systems.
In mid-March, Norsk Hydro shut down several components of its production process including some metal extrusion and rolled products plants in its efforts to contain a digital attack. This security incident boiled down to an infection by a sample of LockerGoga ransomware, as reported by Reuters at the time.
This attack cost the aluminum company between 300 million crowns and 350 million crowns in the first quarter of 2019. But Reuters noted that the attack is expected to add an additional 200 million crowns to 250 million crowns of cost in the second quarter of the year.
In the meantime, Norsk Hydro said that its IT recovery plan resulting from the ransomware attack is proceeding as scheduled. It clarified that this process will include strengthening its digital security measures.
These first-quarter earnings indicate the price tag that can come with a successful ransomware attack. In response to these consequences, organizations should commit their efforts to preventing a ransomware infection in the first place by patching their workstations’ software and educating their employees about phishing attacks. Additional ransomware prevention tips can be found here.