Molson Coors cyberattack impacts production, shipments

Courtesy: Rick Ellis
Courtesy: Rick Ellis

Another major company has fallen victim to a cyberattack that has caused significant disruptions to its business operations. In an SEC filing, Chicago-based brewing and beverage company Molson Coors recently acknowledged they experienced a systems outage due to “a cybersecurity incident.”

While the multinational brewer has been tight-lipped about the specifics of the attack so far, they did note it caused widespread issues to disparate parts of the business, including brewery operations, production and shipments. In the filing, 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 recent high-profile attacks on other major companies – such as Kia Motors and packaging giant WestRock – many security experts have speculated that this could be a ransomware attack. Adult beverage companies have been squarely in the crosshairs in the last 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 taking systems offline could be a significant cost for Molson Coors. That’s often the point with these kinds of cyberattacks. To remediate significant hacks like this, companies must spend resources to do discovery and mitigate any damage. For food and beverage manufacturers, which often run their plants 24/7, taking systems offline for any length of time can be a sizable drain.

“One of the big concerns that I have for the industry in general is the economic drag it takes just to play the game, just to be diligent and respond to these attacks,” said Tyler Whitaker, chief technology officer and chief operating officer of Leading2Lean, a CFE Media content partner. “That’s a big economic impact to these attacks that I think probably files under the radar a little bit.”

Molson Coors is responsible for many beer brands including Coors Light, Miller Lite and Blue Moon. While the company stated it is back to near-normal operations, both production and shipments could be delayed in the coming months.


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