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No Smiles for Coca-Cola After Data Breach

The threat of malicious insiders is one that Coca-Cola knows all too well now that it has had to disclose a breach after a former employee was discovered to have stolen a hard drive. 

According to Cyware, Coca-Cola suffered a data breach in September 2017 in which the personal data of 8,000 employees was compromised after a former employer at one of its subsidiaries stole an external hard drive. Law enforcement officials notified the company and initially requested that Coca-Cola not disclose the incident, as they were still investigating the breach. 

The company has now notified affected employees with a letter that explains what happened, what information was involved and what the company is doing in response to the breach.

"Our investigation identified documents containing certain personal information for Coca-Cola employees and other individuals that was contained in the data held by the former employee. We do not have any information to suggest that the misappropriated information was used to commit identity theft," the notification letter said.  

In an effort to restore confidence, Coca-Cola wrote that it has secured the services of Kroll to provide identity monitoring for one year at no cost, warning those affected by the breach that "it is important that you remain vigilant against possible identity theft by regularly reviewing your account statement and credit report." 

Insider threats remain the top source of security incidents, according to PwC's Global State of Information Security Survey 2018. While outsider threats have decreased, "those attributed to insiders, such as third parties–including suppliers, consultants and contractors–and employees, have stayed about the same or increased."

While Albawaba Business reported that a Kaspersky Lab study found data breaches are costing enterprises more money, Coca-Cola stock prices don't yet reflect financial losses. On 25 May, only days before the breach was announced, FinTelegraph reported, "The Coca-Cola Company has lost -3.91% in value over the last three months, and -7.56% over the last six-month period."

At the end of the 25 May trading session, the stock was worth $42.32. Today, it is trading up from that at $42.66.  

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