D’oh! Beer company suffers cyber attack

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

On Tuesday last week, Lion Beer Australia announced it had experienced a cyber incident. During the week, Lion advised there was no evidence to date of any data breaches, but was still investigating the cyber attack. Investigations revealed Lion was subject to a ransomware attack. 

Lion shut down all of its systems as a precautionary measure, which caused disruption to its suppliers, customers, broader supply chain and brewing process.

The timing of the cyber attack and resulting disruption to Lion’s business has come at a terrible time. Lion acknowledged that the attack “could not have come at a worst time… This has been the most devastating time on record for the hospitality industry”.

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, the hospitality industry in Australia and New Zealand are in the early stages of re-opening its doors. Lion’s cyber attack has impacted pubs and clubs trying to recover, restock and rebuild following the COVID-19 restrictions.

The cyber incident highlights the disruption an attack can have on supply chains and customers already struggling due to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.  

Lion’s cyber incident is a timely reminder of the importance of staying vigilant and protecting your business against cyber attacks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steps businesses can take include updating data breach response and business continuity plans to address the unique challenges of operating in a COVID-19 world, implementing multi-factor authentication for your systems and cloud services, especially remote access systems and ensuring systems, such as VPNs, firewalls and the most recent security patches are up to date.

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