South African port and logistics parastatal Transnet announced that operations at its ports are fully restored as of Wednesday, 28 July. A “disruption” that is believed to be a targeted cyber attack hit the company last and severely hampered operations – the NAVIS container operating system had to be turned off and a manual system took its place.
The government said Transnet managed to restore operations at its ports enabling the country to resume normal supply chain and logistics system operations after an IT security breach on Thursday, 22 July.
The NAVIS N4 terminal operating system has been fully restored, according to the government and now customers are able to facilitate imports and exports via the terminal again instead of using a manual booking system. The remaining systems are expected to be phased back in in a staggered manner.
“The return to operations is good news for the economy, as the Transnet ports and rail system are the backbone of the econmy,” said Ministry of Public Enterprises spokesperson Richard Mantu.
The government said the preliminary assessment of the cyber attack indicates that Transnet and customer data were not compromised. “Cyber attacks have been on the increase in the country and globally. Investigations are underway into the events and due process will take place,” said Mantu.
Transnet is apparently working on strengthening the weaknesses that have been exposed in its IT systems by the breach.
The force majeure, which is usually invoked when a company is unable to meet its contractual obligations because of outside factors, currently in place is under review and it is expected to be lifted in the coming days.
The government said the “speedy recovery” from the hack mitigated possible job losses.
“Minister Gordhan [The Minster of Public Enterprises] commends the hard work that all employees at Transnet have put in to restore full operations at the ports,” said Mantu.