Nurofen-Maker Admits ‘Petya’ Attack Will Cost Millions

British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser has revealed the ‘Petya’ attack last week caused widespread damage to its business which could result in a revenue hit of up to £100m.

The Nurofen and Durex-maker said in a statement on Thursday that it now expects “like-for-like net revenue growth” for the year to be 2% rather than the originally predicted 3%.

With revenues last year of around £10bn, the impact of ‘Petya’ looks severe, although the firm claimed new tax arrangements in India would also hit sales during June “to a lesser extent”.

It claimed the attack disrupted its “ability to manufacture and distribute products to customers in multiple markets across the RB Group”.

The firm added:

“Consequently, we were unable to ship and invoice some orders to customers prior to the close of the quarter. Some of our factories are currently still not operating normally but plans are in place to return to full operation.”

Although it said the attack has been “materially contained”, the firm claimed it’s still working to resolve outstanding issues.

Other big-name firms caught in the attack last week included British marketing giant WPP, Danish shipper Maersk and global law firm DLA Piper. The latter two both issued statements earlier this week which suggested operations still hadn’t returned to normal.

Experts urged businesses to think more clearly about the potentially huge financial repercussions of failing to put in place adequate cybersecurity.

“From the C-suite through to employees, everyone needs to take a proactive stake in upholding security protocols and ensuring that they do not make themselves susceptible to a cyber-attack,” argued Smoothwall corporate security specialist, David Navin. Companies also need to ensure that they are complying with regulation and build a layered security defense which spans encryption, firewalls, web filtering and ongoing threat monitoring as well as a proactive stance.

Barracuda Networks EMEA general manager, Wieland Alge, added that the cost of a breach extends beyond remediation to customer attrition.

“Cybersecurity has become a boardroom issue like never before: in this age of increasingly targeted and sophisticated attacks, organizations need to ensure that their frontline security defenses and employee education are robust enough to prevent them from being the next cyber-attack headline," he argued.

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