29 November 2017

After That Maersk Attack Another Major Shipping Services Group Suffers Cyber Crime  

Theft of Clarksons Data Subject to Police Investigation

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Shipping News Feature UK – WORLDWIDE – Just months after the Maersk group was hit by a cyber attack which cost it an estimated $300 million, integrated shipping services group, Clarksons which provides a vast portfolio of services across the industry, has announced that it was subject to a cyber security incident which involved unauthorised access to the company's computer systems and data theft. As soon as it was discovered, Clarksons says it took immediate steps to respond to and manage the incident.

The London based group says that Initial investigations have shown the unauthorised access was gained via a single and isolated user account which has now been disabled. As a result of the cyber-attack, the company has put in place additional security measures to best prevent a similar incident happening in the future, as it aims to reassure clients and shareholders that this incident has not, and does not, affect its ability to do business.

In revealing the details of the hack, Clarksons has warned that the person or persons behind the incident may release some data, and has been working with the police in relation to this incident. In a statement, Clarksons said:

“The data at issue is confidential and lawyers are on standby wherever needed to take all necessary steps to preserve the confidentiality in the information. Clarksons would like to apologise to shareholders, clients and staff for any concerns this incident may raise. The company is in the process of contacting potentially affected clients and individuals directly.”

Since this recent incident, Clarksons has been working with data security specialists to investigate further and has notified the relevant regulatory bodies. The company has plans to invest heavily to further enhance the IT systems and procedures it has in place, and as part of this, the Company is continuing with a wider review of cyber security that began earlier this year and is, for example, accelerating the roll-out of various additional IT security measures. Andi Case, CEO of Clarksons, commented:

“Issues of cyber security are at the forefront of many business agendas in today’s digital and commercial landscape and, despite our extensive efforts we have suffered this criminal attack. As you would rightly expect, we’re working closely with specialist police teams and data security experts to do all we can to best understand the incident and what we can do to protect our clients now and in the future.

“We hope that, in time, we can share the lessons learned with our clients to help stop them from becoming victims themselves. In the meantime, I hope our clients understand that we would not be held to ransom by criminals, and I would like to sincerely apologise for any concern this incident may have understandably raised.”

Earlier this month London was host to a forum discussion on cyber security, particularly focused on how internet crime has rapidly become the leading threat to the shipping industry. At that event experts in the field made it clear that IT was not by itself a solution, and that an holistic approach to the problem is essential if vulnerability is to be minimised.

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