Molson Coors reports substantial progress in restoring systems after cybersecurity incident

Molson Coors

Beverage maker Molson Coors said that substantial progress has been made in restoring its systems following a recent cybersecurity incident, and the eleven-day closure of its Fort Worth, Texas brewery as a result of the winter storms last month. The maker, however, did not provide details on the nature of the cybersecurity attack, though it seemed to have affected its production. 

“Globally, all [our] breweries are currently producing and shipping products, and are ramping up to near normal operating levels,” Molson Coors said in a press statement. “Despite this progress led by the significant efforts of the Molson Coors team, along with the support of leading forensic information technology firms and other advisors, the Company has experienced and continues to experience some delays and disruptions in its business, including brewery operations, production and shipments in the U.K., Canada, and the U.S.,” it added. 

Molson Coors announced in an SEC filing on Mar.11 that it had experienced a systems outage that was caused by a cybersecurity incident. “The Company has engaged leading forensic information technology firms and legal counsel to assist the Company’s investigation into the incident and the Company is working around the clock to get its systems back up as quickly as possible.” 

“Although the Company is actively managing this cybersecurity incident, it has caused and may continue to cause a delay or disruption to parts of the Company’s business, including its brewery operations, production, and shipments,” it warned at the time.

Molson Coors said in its latest SEC filing that it expects to incur incremental one-time costs in both the first and second quarters of 2021, as a result of the cybersecurity incident.

The cybersecurity incident at Molson Coors was preceded by an unprecedented February winter storm in Texas that forced local government authorities to impose energy restrictions. The ongoing on-trade shutdowns in the U.K. due to the coronavirus pandemic also continues to be a challenge for the company. All three of these events will negatively impact the first quarter 2021 financial results.

Recent months have witnessed rising instances of industrial manufacturing being subject to cybersecurity and ransomware attacks, and other forms of malicious attempts.

Paper manufacturer WestRock Company was hit by ransomware that led to shipments from some of its facilities lagging in production levels last month. The company confirmed that the ransomware incident affected ‘certain of its operational and information technology systems,’ though it did not release exact details of the impact on OT and IT systems or the type of OT systems impacted in the incident.

Jet-maker Bombardier also confirmed in February that it had been a victim of a cybersecurity breach on what it described as purpose-built servers, which were isolated from the main Bombardier IT network. 

Ransomware persisted as the top contender in the threats category in 2020, accounting for 23 percent of security incidents, while security vulnerabilities related to industrial control systems (ICS), detected last year, were 49 percent more than those discovered in 2019, based on data collected from real attacks by IBM Security X-Force in its ‘IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index’ report.

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