Aussie Media Company Warns Investors of $7 Million Hit to Profit Due to Ransomware Attack


After a ransomware infection last week, Australian media intelligence and data firm Isentia is advising investors it will be around $7 million poorer in fiscal 2021. The tally reflects remediation costs and lost business associated with the cyber incident, the CEO said.

Isentia, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, staffs numerous offices across Australia, as well as in New Zealand and South-East Asia. Its SaaS platform, Mediaportal, is used by communications professionals worldwide.

Isentia deals with the Australian government, Singtel, AMP, Samsung, Seek and the Walt Disney Corporation, as well as government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and academic institutions.

As per Isentia’s October 27 notice, the company last week suffered a “cyber security incident” that crippled its Mediaportal platform, forcing it to stop supplying some services and enter a trading halt that saw its shares fall 30 percent the next day.

The incident, later revealed as a ransomware infection, had a “significant” impact on the delivery of services to customers and caused operations to be “severely compromised,” the company said in a statement this week.

The firm is wasting no time telling investors what to expect from fiscal year 2021, with CEO Ed Harrison informing, “Although it is difficult to fully assess the impact on FY21 pre-tax earnings, our estimate of 7$-8.5m reflects remediation costs and foregone revenues from services affected by the outage.”

The incident allegedly occurred as Isentia was transitioning to a new debt facility with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

The firm responded rapidly to the attack, putting in place measures to support customers and contain the impact on affected systems at the same time. It refrains from disclosing the hackers’ entry point as investigations are still ongoing.

As of today, Mediaportal is back on its feet, with some services still inaccessible as Isentia’s IT guys work to repair the damage.

Although the immediate impact on its net profit is estimated at $7 million-8.5 million, Isentia advises investors that “this estimate is subject to the ongoing assessment of the incident.” In other words, the financial impact may well be greater once all is said and done.