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Melbourne woman’s warning after a cyber attack cost her business $2 million

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A Melbourne woman whose business lost $2 million as a result of a major cyber attack last year has share a cautionary tale.

Gillian Franklin, founder and managing director of The Heat Group, a cosmetic wholesaler, said when a colleague checked the company’s server and found it completely empty, she thought she must have done something wrong.

Almost all of the $130 million company’s files had vanished, rendering the business unable to process or pack orders.

In place of the data was a single line ransom note demanding $40,000 worth of bitcoin.

“It was a very stressful time,” Ms Franklin told Ross and Russel.

The business was able to start operating after five frantic days of file recovery, but the five day shut down cost the company $2 million.

Ms Franklin shared some sage advice for other Australian businesses:

  • You should assume you’re going to be hacked or can be hacked.
  • Make sure you’re following every possible cyber security rule.
  • Make sure you’ve got very sophisticated passwords.
  • Have cyber security insurance.
  • Have a plan ready — your speed to recovery is the one that can mitigate the damage.

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