The information of 8,000 individuals employed with the enterprise Coca-Cola have been affected by a data breach. This breach is caused by a former employee whose actions are believed to be that of an insider threat. Currently certain details of the breach are limited and vary from employee to employee. Here’s what we currently know.

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Law enforcement officials discovered on September 1, 2017 that a former employee with Coca-Cola was in possession of a hard drive  that contained employee data. Coca-Cola has expressed the delay in disclosing the breach was out of respect for the criminal investigation.

The data that was within the rogue hard drive belonged to 8,000 employees.

The information within the hard drive has been identified as personal identifiable information such as contact information. However at the this time, the exact type of PII has not been released and does appear to vary from person to person.

Any and all affected employees have been notified of the breach at this time by notification letter.

Coca-Cola is offering free identity monitoring for one year for those whose data was stolen.

A spokesperson shared this statement,

“We take information security very seriously, and we sympathize with everyone whose information may have been exposed. We regret any inconvenience or concern this may be causing them… we do not have any information to suggest that the information was used to commit identity theft.”

An Insider Threat Attack

This data breach is a prime example of what can occur when an employee crosses the line between an asset and a threat. It is speculated that the data breach was carried out by a fired and disgruntled employee. It isn’t clear the direct motive, but the act does imply a purpose of malicious intent. Refer to this infographic for the different types of insider threat types.

What type of insider is this ex-employee?

With consideration for the circumstances, it appears this insider is a malicious insider. This is a highly dangerous insider who acts with malicious intent in order to cause destruction and chaos. A malicious insider has full comprehension of their actions, their effects and likely has further intentions; such as selling stolen data or committing identity theft.

What’s the takeaway?

Let this data breach serve as a cautionary tale to all organizations. The insider threat is established and spanning across the threat landscape. If your organization is not currently practicing insider threat mitigation techniques such as employee monitoring, then you are simply waiting for an inside attack to occur. The culmination of time spent learning and implementing insider attacks will pale in comparison to the time and funds spent recovering from an attack.

Looking forward

Remain alert and watch how this breach unfolds. We will learn more about this insider attack, the specific PII stolen and exactly how it was accessed when it is released. Stay tuned for updates as Coca-Cola releases more news.