Another major company has been the victim of a cyberattack that has caused major disruptions to its business operations. In a filing with the SEC, Chicago-based brewing and beverage company Molson Coors recently acknowledged that they experienced a system outage due to “a cybersecurity incident.”
While the multinational brewer has been quiet about the details of the attack so far, they noted that it caused widespread problems in disparate parts of the business, including the brewery’s operations, production, and shipments. In the presentation, Molson-Coors said it is actively managing the situation and “working around the clock” to get its systems back up and running as quickly as possible.
Given the recent high-profile attacks against other major companies, such as Kia Motors and packaging giant WestRock, many security experts have speculated that this could be a ransomware attack. Alcoholic drink companies have been directly targeted in the past year, with Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman, Australia’s Lion and Italy’s Licya Campari Group all suffering attacks, according to Forbes.
Either way, the downtime caused by disconnecting systems could represent a significant cost to Molson Coors. That’s often the point with these types of cyberattacks. To remedy major attacks like this, companies must spend resources to make discoveries and mitigate any damage. For food and beverage manufacturers, who often operate their plants 24/7, shutting down systems for any period can be a considerable loss.
“One of the big concerns I have for the industry as a whole is the economic drag it takes just to play, just to be diligent and respond to these attacks,” said Tyler Whitaker, chief technology officer and chief operating officer of Leading2Lean, CFE Media’s content partner.
“That’s a big economic impact for these attacks that I think is probably being shelved a little under the radar.” Molson Coors is responsible for many beer brands, including Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Blue Moon.While the company stated that it has returned to near-normal operations, both production and shipments could be delayed in the coming months.
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