It has been a remarkably eventful year in the realm of cybersecurity, with prominent companies facing the grim reality of cyberattacks and the ensuing disruptions they bring. While some have navigated these treacherous waters with varying degrees of success, others have seen the substantial repercussions that result from a digital breach.

The drama began when Johnson Controls found itself at the center of a cybersecurity storm, revealing it had fallen victim to a cyberattack. The consequences were felt in the form of disruptions to internal IT infrastructure and applications. The gravity of the incident led Johnson Controls to assess its potential impact on the timely release of fourth-quarter and full fiscal year results. What makes this incident particularly concerning is that many of Johnson Controls’ clients are federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security. Consequently, the agency launched an investigation to determine whether sensitive floor plans and security information may have been exposed during the attack.

Another poignant example came from Clorox, which issued a surprising earnings warning in the wake of a significant cybersecurity breach in August. The breach resulted in widespread disruptions to Clorox’s operations, including delays in order processing and significant product shortages. The fallout didn’t stop there, as Clorox continues to evaluate the impact on its fiscal year 2024 and beyond. The company now anticipates a substantial year-over-year sales decline and quarterly loss due to this disruptive incident.

MGM Resorts also faced its share of cyber woes, revealing a cyberattack in September that is expected to cost the company approximately $100 million. The attack impacted the availability of bookings through the company’s website and mobile applications, leading to occupancy decreases. While the incident was primarily confined to September, MGM Resorts anticipates minimal impact beyond the third quarter, assuring it won’t materially affect operations and year-end results. Impressively, MGM Resorts resisted paying any ransom.

In a stark contrast, Caesars adopted a different approach and paid a $15 million ransom after suffering its own data breach in September. Fortunately, the breach didn’t disrupt its casino or online operations, although the financial impact remains undisclosed.

These instances are just the tip of the iceberg, as this year has seen several high-profile corporations grapple with cybersecurity challenges. Campbell Soup encountered a cyberattack affecting one of its facilities but managed to limit operational impact, deeming it immaterial to financials. Similarly, Dole faced a cyberattack with a relatively low financial impact, as did Brunswick, which temporarily halted operations and incurred an $85 million cost. Tempur Sealy and Estee Lauder both experienced the need to shut down IT systems after separate cyberattacks in July.

In the case of Sysco, a data breach was disclosed in January, with customer and employee data stolen, but no significant operational impact. Miner Freeport-McMoRan suffered a cyberattack in August, resulting in limited production impact.

These examples illustrate that cybersecurity remains a pressing concern for corporations of all sizes. While it’s easy to assume that larger organizations possess the resources and expertise to ward off such threats, these incidents underscore the need for proactive measures, continuous education, and unwavering commitment to safeguarding sensitive data in our interconnected world.

In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let these larger corporations be a lesson on the importance of safeguarding digital assets, fostering a culture of cybersecurity, and staying vigilant in the face of evolving cyber threats. While these industry giants often possess extensive resources and expertise, their experiences remind us that no organization is immune to cyberattacks, underscoring the vital need for proactive measures, ongoing education, and a commitment to protecting sensitive data in our increasingly interconnected world.