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Attacks take all forms and while the outside attacks garner the most attention, the inside assault can cause big problems.

Just ask Coca-Cola.

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The soft drink giant admitted last week it suffered a data breach incident last September after a former employee was found in possession of worker data on a personal hard drive.

The company learned of the security breach last September after law enforcement officials contacted Coca-Cola.

Cyber Security

Investigators said a former employee at a Coca-Cola subsidiary was found in possession of an external hard drive containing information that appeared to have been misappropriated from Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola said it worked with law enforcement in the past months to investigate the data’s origin and validity, and determined some documents contained the personal information of some of its workers.

The company is now sending notification letters to affected employees.

“We are issuing data breach notices to about 8,000 individuals whose personal information was included in computer files that a former employee took with him when he left the company,” a Coca-Cola spokesperson said.

Coca-Cola is offering free identity monitoring for one year to affected employees through a third-party provider.

The company also added it waited until now to report the breach to employees at the request of law enforcement, who were still investigating the incident.

The average cost of an insider threat annually is $8.76 million, according to a survey from the Ponemon Institute, entitled “2018 Cost of Insider Threats: Global Organizations.”

It’s critical for organizations to understand the main causes of insider threats, because detecting insiders in a timely manner could save millions of dollars. Depending on the industry and size of company, the cost of an insider threat varies dramatically.

“This research reveals that ignoring the growing threat posed by insiders can be costly for businesses of all sizes and in all industries,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute. “The increasing cost of insider threats – whether caused by negligent or malicious actors – is extremely detrimental for organizations, potentially costing them millions of dollars annually.”

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