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Small Business Can Learn from Coors Cyber Incident


With Spring and Summer coming, many people are starting to get outside. Not much pairs with a nice crisp day better than a crisp beer. Coors Banquet and Blue Moon are two of the most reached for beers in the United States. Well, Molson Coors Brewing, the brewery responsible for Blue Moon and Coors beers, had to stop production on March 11, 2021 due to a Cyber Security Incident. Though many would not think that a brewery is a target, the reality is that anyone can be the victim of a cyber-attack. If a business of that size can have a cyber incident that brings production to a halt, then what could a hacker do to a smaller business? Smaller businesses typically do not have the same budget, resources, and cyber security that a large-scale business does.

What Happened:

Molson Coors Brands including Blue Moon, Coors Light, and Coors Banquet beer

“On March 11, 2021, Molson Coors Beverage Company announced that it experienced a systems outage that was caused by a cybersecurity incident. it has caused and may continue to cause a delay or disruption to parts of the Company’s (Coors) business, including its brewery operations, production, and shipments.” We learned this from the Form 8-K that Coors filed publicly. We do not currently know how they were breached. All we know is that whatever it was had a major impact on production. Good news though, Coors should be back up and running normally soon. Thankfully, Coors has the finances to retroactively handle the cyber-attack. However, this is not the case for most small businesses.

What that Means for Small Business:

Though the Coors Cyber Security incident may seem to be an outlier, it is not. The food and beverage industry has seen an increase in cyber-attacks over the years. They are not alone. Almost all other industries have seen a rise in cyber-incidents as well. Small Businesses are a major target for a cyber incident.

Small businesses typically do not have the budget or team to have robust cyber security in place. However, many companies think that their current cyber security is up to snuff. They trust in the Managed Service Provider(MSP) that they signed up with or do not think that they are a target for an attack. Though the MSPs do what they can, current cyber threats require a more robust solution. Traditional Anti-Virus and Patching alone do not work to stop today’s threats. This issue is even more important in realm of small business.

While a large company has the resources to stay afloat even with a halt in business, a smaller business does not have the same luxury. A small business that experiences a cyber incident is likely to pay an average of $55,000 dollars to retroactively fix their systems. On top of the money spent, they will have to be closed while the issue is fixed. 60% of small businesses that experience a cyber incident are closed permanently within 6 months of the attack. In the case of small business, the best form of protection is prevention and being proactive about security.

How can a Small Business be Prepared:

Small Businesses can better prepare themselves for a cyber incident by talking with their current MSP to see what sort of coverage they have. Also, by scheduling a no-cost risk assessment with BrightCyber, the small business can see what vulnerabilities they have and what changes need to be made. Being proactive about cyber security is a must in today’s day and age. Spending a little bit of time now can save a business hours of time and thousands of dollars later. 

Conclusion:

Molson Coors Beverages suffered from a terrible cyber incident. Thankfully, they are working with a cyber security team to get everything back up and running. Small businesses can learn from this incident. If they take proactive steps to ensuring their business is safe, then they can stay open and operational without having to retroactively handle an incident if one were to occur.

Cheers!

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