Fallout from NotPetya attack leaves TNT customers furious

The financial and reputational damage of June’s NotPetya attack is mounting for TNT, with the courier overwhelmed by undelivered parcels and angry customers.

TNT’s UK staff have told customers that consignments are “going up to the ceiling” as international shipments are still being processed by hand. There are similar problems at TNT hubs worldwide, with thousands of delayed shipments.

The courier’s shares have dropped by more than 3% since the attack, and its parent company, FedEx, issued a statement warning that its earnings are “materially” down.

Frustrated customers

FedEx says that all TNT depots, hubs and facilities are operational, but problems with IT systems and the sheer volume of work is causing significant delays.

“[C]ustomers are still experiencing widespread servicing and invoicing delays, and manual processes are being used to facilitate a significant portion of TNT operations and customer service functions,” FedEx said.

It added: “We cannot yet estimate how long it will take to restore the systems that were impacted, and it is reasonably possible that TNT will be unable to fully restore all of the affected systems and recover all of the critical business data that was encrypted by the virus.”

The BBC spoke to several TNT customers affected by the delays, including a woman whose birthday present to her brother arrived damaged and late, a business owner who had to issue £900 in refunds, and a bride whose wedding dress only turned up two days before the ceremony.

Peter Blohm, an antique dealer from Aberystwyth, told the Guardian that a consignment of art that he ordered in July still hasn’t arrived: “TNT tell me they have had no computer systems since the end of June and there is no estimate for when their systems will be fixed.

“This means there are many thousands of parcels which have like mine been waiting for weeks to be processed by hand with pen and paper. The staff sound harassed, but cannot estimate when my parcel will be delivered, because they simply do not know.”

Neither TNT nor FedEx has issued a public statement since FedEx’s notice on 17 July. When contacted by the BBC in mid-August, TNT reportedly sent some lines copied almost verbatim from that statement, adding: “We cannot express strongly enough how much we appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding through this period.”

The importance of cyber resilience

To prevent situations like this, organisations should implement an effective business continuity management system (BCMS) alongside a cyber resilience strategy.

A BCMS is vital for managing the fallout from a data breach, helps organisations recover from potentially damaging and disruptive incidents, and protects their turnover, profits and reputation.

Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study supports this argument, showing that an effective BCMS saves organisations significant time in identifying and containing breaches, reduces the cost of data breaches and limits the disruption to business.

Meanwhile, by implementing a cyber resilience strategy, your organisation can not only defend itself against potential attacks but also make sure it survives a successful attack. Such a strategy provides:

  • Effective cyber security without compromising the usability of your systems; and
  • A robust business continuity plan that covers your information assets so that you can resume normal operations as soon as possible after a successful attack.

We provide a range of cyber resilience solutions to make sure your organisation is best placed to mitigate unexpected situations or events.

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