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Ransomware Is an Ever-Present Threat. Automotive Industry Powerhouse Leibold & Amann Found a Solution.

As if natural disasters, political unrest, and global pandemics weren’t enough, 2020 was also a huge year for ransomware. As the world struggled with COVID-19 and the challenges of remote work, ransomware attacks simultaneously increased by over 150%. Factor in that criminals are becoming increasingly discerning in who and what they target, and that their predations are increasingly difficult to defend against, and you’re faced with a very grim prospect for well-heeled companies trying to defend against this growing cyber epidemic.

That’s the exact position Leibold & Amann GmbH found itself in during the spring of 2020. As a leading provider of extremely complex, custom-built components for automotive and e-bike manufacturers, the Wellendingen, Germany-based firm presented an attractive target for online criminals.

Both its domestic and international customers rely heavily on components the firm produces. That means even the slightest amount of downtime could produce a titanic dip in revenue. On May 15, 2020, that was precisely what happened.

That was the day Leibold & Amann’s operations were attacked by LockBit ransomware. At the time of the incident, the company’s three-person IT team was running a proof of concept (POC) test to evaluate BlackBerry® Protect, but had not yet completed their deployment. This meant that many of the company’s devices were still running its old security software.

“Our old solution did not work,” says Marco Rohrer, IT manager at Leibold & Amann. “It failed to detect the attack and failed to deploy countermeasures.”

BlackBerry Protect, on the other hand, immediately identified the ransomware as a threat and stopped it from executing.

Unfortunately, it couldn’t undo the damage dealt to unprotected parts of the company’s infrastructure. Leibold & Amann ended up having to shutter its facility for nearly a week to give its IT department time to reconfigure damaged and compromised systems. Even after resuming production, it was nearly another month before everything was fully restored.

While the company didn’t survive the LockBit attack unscathed, Rohrer says things would have been significantly worse without BlackBerry.

“The financial damage from the attack ended up being in the mid-six-figure range,” Rohrer recalls. “Without BlackBerry Protect, the damage would have been significantly higher. At the same time, the attack showed that we were on the right track with BlackBerry – we needed to take a different approach to security.”

For BlackBerry and its valued customers, such as Leibold & Amann, relying on state-of-the-art machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict and actually prevent damaging attacks is the right approach to successfully defeat ransomware, reduce risk, and ensure business continuity and growth.

Learn more about how Leibold & Amann is using BlackBerry® AI-driven cybersecurity

Ulf Baltin

About Ulf Baltin

Ulf Baltin is Managing Director | DACH | Central Europe at BlackBerry Deutschland GmbH.