Client impact

Danish Agro – preventing hackers from damaging agriculture

Every day, Danish Agro works to bring value-creating solutions to farmers around the world. Being established, owned and driven by farmers itself, the company is a key player in the Danish agricultural industry and helps other farmers leverage their harvest and strengthen their agricultural insight and competencies – contributing to a strong and resistant industry.

But last year, Danish Agro’s business was put under severe pressure when they were hit by one the most pressing threats in today’s digitalised world: a cyber-attack. Hackers had taken control of a supplier’s IT systems and sent a phishing email from the supplier into an ongoing email correspondence with Danish Agro. Consequently, they now had access to their servers and could install hacker software – with the potential to disrupt the whole industry.

Restoring the past and building the future

Deloitte’s Incident Response Team was present on site one hour after receiving the call. Together with Danish Agro, they identified the ideal response to the attack, both regarding external marketplace, stakeholders at large and internal communications. They worked side by side during all phases of the attack – from discovering and tracing the source through finished clean up.

Danish Agro was quick to reorganise their business while the attack was detected and investigated. They developed a plan for adjusting operations to maintain client support through manual operations, ensuring that the business could still operate in the most critical stage.
Jointly, Danish Agro and Deloitte commenced the process of developing policies for how to handle future attacks, which included building the future security setup to be more resistant towards cyber criminals. It was quickly noticed that the hackers intended to re-enter Danish Agro, so this required upstaffing on the security area, investing in IT equipment and updating programs and servers.

Hackers are smart and constantly invent new techniques and types of attacks. The latest trend is called the ‘double extortion technique’, where hackers gain access to data and subsequently place substantial pressure on organisations to increase the chances of receiving what they demand. Nobody is safe from cyber-attacks, and no measures are safe bets against hackers. This is the biggest learning for Danish Agro, and a lesson they continue to incorporate into their operations.

“No matter what we do we will never be 100 per cent safe from cyber criminals, but with the measures we have taken and implemented we will be able to act promptly and on more favorable terms if our luck runs out again. It would be the wrong mindset to assume it could never happen to us again,” says Brian Hauge Søe.

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