Brunswick makes progress to restore systems after IT breach

Brunswick Corporation says it has made significant progress restoring the functionality of its systems and restarting operations at facilities where production or distribution was paused.

This follows an IT security incident which impacted the global marine company’s systems and facilities on 13 June 2023.

Operations were paused in some locations while Brunswick attempted to restore the full functionality of the affected systems and minimise business, employee, and customer impacts.

All primary Brunswick global manufacturing and most distribution facilities are now operational. The company says its remaining production and distribution facilities are expected to restart within a few business days.

It’s now looking at a period of ramping production back up and fulfilling backorders across the businesses. Given the proximity of the production and distribution disruptions to the end of the second quarter, the process of catching up lost production and fulfilling backorders will continue through at least the third quarter.

Brunswick says it appreciates the patience and support of its customers during this process.

Some of its employees — specifically at Mercury Marine – have been worried that they wouldn’t be paid when unable to work — due to the IT disruption. But it was announced to production employees that this is not the case — they will be paid.

One worker at the Fond du Lac plant, which produces marine engines and propulsion systems, told Action2News: “That feels like a big relief off our shoulders, knowing that, okay, we’re still gonna get paid for the week and knowing that we don’t have to take out time for vacation or PTO for it for work because that was the other thing I was afraid.”

He is planning to report for his next scheduled shift but still has security concerns because it’s still unclear what the IT issue is all about.

“They will be paid for the time that they were unable to work due to the system disruption for any regularly scheduled shifts this past week,” Lee Gordon, vice president of corporate communications, public relations, and public affairs for Brunswick Corporation, which owns Mercury Marine, told the website.

Gordon says he didn’t know how many employees are affected. He said salaried employees at Mercury Marine were able to work in the office or remotely.

“We are working to address the incident to restore the full functionality of the affected systems” to reduce the impact on the business, workers, and customers.”

This isn’t the first time Mercury Marine has experienced IT security. In 2016, a computer phishing scam netted personal information from employees.

According to a report at the time, the incident resulted in the unauthorised disclosure of information for a large number of current and former employees. Staff were warned to remain vigilant in reviewing all financial account statements and credit reports for signs of fraud.

At the time, Brunswick said: ‘There was no technical intrusion into Brunswick’s IT systems, and there is no reason to believe that its information systems, customer data and other employee information have been compromised.’ However, it was reported that anyone who worked at a Brunswick-owned company in 2015 could be affected. Brunswick employs about 13,000 globally and the scam affected a large number of them.

Brunswick is home to more than 60 brands. In the category of marine propulsion, these brands include Mercury Marine, Mercury Racing and MerCruiser. Brunswick’s collection of parts, accessories, distribution, and technology brands includes Mercury Engine Parts & Accessories, BLA and Land ‘N’ Sea. Its Navico Group and technology brands consist of Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, Mastervolt, RELiON, Attwood and Whale.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.