Clorox Names Cyberattack the Cause of Product Shortage

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It’s easy to miss news of the cybersecurity threats and attacks happening almost everywhere. At PK Tech, our goal is to educate and offer proactive steps for cybersecurity safety. It’s important to be aware – without being afraid – of the cybersecurity threats that are real threats for your business. PK Tech aims to be a leading educator and support tool in the world of cybersecurity. 

This month, we’re highlighting a recent cyberattack on the Clorox brand, which they are using to blame for the cause of significant product shortages as of late (reference). What happened, what was the fallout, and why should you care? We’re covering it all here. Let’s dive in.

What the “Hack” Happened?

In August, Clorox experienced a cyberattack that forced it to shut down many key systems, including production. While Clorox has been very guarded about the attack, which was likely a ransomware attack, the attack has also not been claimed by a known ransomware group – yet, that is.

We do know that the cyberattack directly affected, and damaged, components of the Company’s IT infrastructure. This resulted in wide-scale disruption to Clorox operations. Since the attack, Clorox has been working to repair the infrastructure and to reintegrate all systems that were taken offline due to the attack. 

The Fallout

The obvious fallout was supply shortage. While Clorox was able to contain the cyberattack relatively quickly, production took a hit and has not been fully restored, with a shortage in supply for some of its products. 

With production having resumed at most of their manufacturing sites, the firm will move back towards automated order processing as a next step. The timeline for a total return to normal is unknown at this point. 

Lessons Learned #ITCouldHaveBeenWorse

While production disruption is never a positive for a manufacturing company, Clorox expects a full recovery from the cybersecurity incident. Brief shortages and delay in production was the worst of it. Company data and financials remain intact.

While the production shortage will undoubtedly impact first-quarter financials, the long-term impact remains to be seen. All in all, the Company handled the incident well. They kept a lid on public communication and made necessary reports to the SEC. 

For a company that makes highly sought-after household products –supply shortage or not –  people will still buy Clorox products, even if they have to wait for them. As we always like to say, #ITCouldBeWorse.