Almost all of us are potential victims of online criminals as a result of extensive digitalisation. And the attacks are getting more sophisticated. Even if we are aware and optimally ready for defence we may be confronted with it one day.
Hacks only occur at other companies. That’s what Henny de Haas of Hoppenbrouwers Techniek thought for a long time about cyber attacks. Until July last year, when all systems of the technical service provider in Udenhout were paralysed. Now, De Haas and his colleagues are releasing a book about that hectic, panicky weekend and the relief when it was over.
1. Laptop stutters
On July 21 of last year, things went completely wrong at Hoppenbrouwers. “That afternoon, the laptop of one of our employees no longer worked properly,” recalls director De Haas. “When they wanted to look at that at the ICT department, they noticed that their systems were also down”.
2. Perhaps it’s nothing…
At first, the seriousness of the situation did not dawn on me. “There were some jokes. ‘We haven’t been hacked, have we?'” A reaction that, according to De Haas, can be explained. “It’s just like a fire. That always happens to someone else. Until it’s your turn.”
3. Alarm bells go off
Soon it turned out that was indeed the case and the painful conclusion came: a cyber attack. “At that moment, all the alarm bells went off. Shortly before that, the Mandemakers Group had also been hit with enormous impact. Other companies had also been out for weeks after such a hack. Well, I also read the newspaper, so that was not a positive prospect.”
4. All specialists called in
That same day, as many people as possible were called in to solve the problems. “In total, we worked on this with about 200 people”.
“I asked our external cyber specialist how long he thought it would take. He was afraid it might take a few weeks. So I asked what would be the fastest. Then he told me that it had once been possible in three days. So I said, ‘Then we’ll go for two days.'”
A bit opportunistic, De Haas admits. “I had no idea if that was going to work, but I did notice that everyone got a kind of extra boost from it. If we go for this, then we really go for it.”
6. Systems back up and running
Miraculously, it worked. “After the weekend we had everything up and running again. Our advantage was that we noticed the hack so fast and that there was a recent backup, which had not yet been attacked by the virus. It saved us. But honestly, we’ve also been lucky. ”
Lucky or not: somehow Hoppenbrouwers managed to fend off the hackers and the company did not pay anything.
7. Putting staff up to speed
“There were a lot of employees who did not get exactly what had happened that weekend. That’s why we wanted to put those experiences on paper”.
8. Book ‘Hack’
This is how an actual book was created with the title: Hack. “Thirty employees will have an opportunity to share how they experienced that weekend. And those are sometimes impressive stories. “On those days themselves, you’re just trying to solve things as quickly as possible. But while reading, you notice how much impact it has had on everyone.”
A successful project, according to the director. “I read it myself in one go, even if I experienced it myself.”
If you also want to read what happens after a major cyber attack, you can download Hack from September 14 via the Hoppenbrouwers website for free.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani