Cybersecurity Breach Hits Clorox, Several Systems Taken Offline

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Aug 16, 2023 02:50 am PST

Clorox, the household cleaning product titan, disclosed a significant cybersecurity incident this week, which led the company to shut down several of its systems temporarily. The revelation came from a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.

The company, which reported a whopping $7 billion in earnings for 2022 through renowned brands like Pine Sol, Burt’s Bees, Chux, Brita, Glad, and its namesake Clorox, stated in its 8-K filing, “The Clorox Company has identified unauthorized activity on some of its Information Technology (IT) systems.” Upon detecting the breach, Clorox immediately began remediation efforts and secured affected systems offline.

To mitigate the disruptions caused by the incident, Clorox has initiated workarounds for certain offline operations to ensure its customer services remain uninterrupted. The company also highlighted the potential business operation disruptions resulting from this breach.

While Clorox is taking stringent measures to address the issue, including hiring a third-party cybersecurity firm for assistance in recovery and collaborating with law enforcement agencies, they are still in the early phases of investigating the incident’s scope and impact.

Despite the rising concerns, Clorox remains committed to updating its stakeholders, stating, “Our team is working diligently to restore systems safely and quickly, and we will ensure all suppliers and customers are updated as necessary.”

Interestingly, in their recent 10-K report with the SEC, Clorox had forewarned about its vulnerability to cyber threats, citing an increased reliance on a plethora of technologies. The company acknowledged a surge in cyberattack attempts, including ransomware, phishing, hacking, and other potential threats, especially since transitioning to a remote working model.

The cybersecurity landscape, particularly for manufacturing companies, remains grim. Recent data from Akamai indicates a significant 42% surge in cyberattacks on the manufacturing sector between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022, surpassing all other industry sectors. Furthermore, according to Comparitech’s findings, from 2018 to July 2023, ransomware attacks on manufacturing firms resulted in an estimated loss of $46.2 billion from operational downtimes.

Such cybersecurity incidents are not unique to Clorox. Several prominent corporations, including the mattress industry giant Tempur Sealy, have fallen victim to cyberattacks in recent weeks, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced digital security measures.

Clorox has yet to make a public comment regarding the breach.

Notify of
1 Expert Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jordan Schroeder
Jordan Schroeder , Managing CISO
August 16, 2023 10:58 am

“Details into this incident are still emerging, so it isn’t clear what type of attack Clorox is facing. However, based on the information available, the company has taken certain systems offline to contain the incident. This could indicate the attack was ransomware and Clorox is trying to prevent the malware spreading onto other systems.When it comes to ransomware, a common misconception is that organisations escape unscathed if criminals do not encrypt their data, but this is completely wrong. Even if data isn’t held hostage, organisations can still incur huge financial losses as a result of downtime and recovery.Clorox employs over 8000 people, so taking systems offline means a lot of these staff members won’t be able to perform their jobs. Furthermore, taking systems offline also impacts supplies which will have a knock-on effect on customers and partners. As a result, for every hour Clorox is out of operation, the company will be haemorrhaging money.When it comes to defending against this, organisations must have contingency plans in place so they can avoid taking systems offline. A key part of this this all comes down to network segmentation, which allows an organisation to shut down an infected part of a network without it having an impact on other environments or operations.

It is also essential that businesses have an easy way to calculate exactly what every hour of downtime is costing them. When they have this information to hand, they can easily understand the best and most cost-effective way to recovery.”  

Last edited 8 months ago by jordan.schroeder

Recent Posts

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x