Cumbrian marine services firm James Fisher and Sons has fallen victim to a cyber attack.

The company, which has its headquarters in Barrow, said the incident involved unauthorised access to its computer systems.

As a precautionary measure, the company took all affected systems offline, restricting access to its communications and financial systems, it said in a statement.

It also appointed external specialist, including forensic cyber security, experts to investigate the circumstances and scope of the incident.

It said: “Following containment of the incident, we are working with our cyber security experts on a safe recovery of systems, applications and data from our disaster recovery back-up.

“Work is ongoing to complete the recovery as quickly as possible and to minimise any impact on our businesses.

“These investigations are ongoing,” it added, saying that a further update would be made in due course.

We repeatedly contacted James Fisher for further details of the attack, but at the time of writing, this was not forthcoming.

It remains unclear where the attack originated from and if the attackers targeted that the company’s Barrow headquarters, or across its sites around the world.

It is also not clear if data was destroyed or lost, and if that attack affected data on its clients, which include the likes of BAE Systems, also based in Barrow.

And there was still no indication of the timeline on when the issue would be resolved and the impact on the business in terms of time lost and financial costs.

James Fisher added: “As a responsible global business, we have notified regulators and law enforcement agencies in the UK and, where required, are in the process of notifying in other jurisdictions.”

James Fisher was founded in 1847 in Barrow as a ship-owning business transporting haematite from quarries in Cumbria around the world.

It has since expanded into other markets, with its specialist nuclear business, James Fisher Nuclear, based in Egremont.