Hackers need less than a minute to perform a successful data breach. It will be over before you can even finish your cup of coffee. Unfortunately, it can take companies several weeks to realize they were the victim of a malware attack. That's what happened to Pepsi Bottling Ventures.

Pepsi Bottling Ventures is the largest privately owned Pepsi-Cola bottler in the United States. It handles 18 facilities in various states and has over 2,300 employees. Given the company's reputation in the industry, its data breach announcement surprised many.

Here's everything you need to know about the Pepsi data breach so you can keep informed.

What Happened to Pepsi Bottling Ventures?
Pepsi Bottling Ventures discovered the data breach on Jan. 10, 2023, but notified the affected individuals about the incident on Feb. 10. It warned them that a malware attack compromised their sensitive information.

Further investigation revealed that the hackers accessed the company’s system on Dec. 23, 2022. Pepsi Bottling Ventures only secured its system on Jan. 19, 2023. That means the data breach went unaddressed for almost an entire month.

What Does the Data Breach Mean to Pepsi Bottling Ventures’ Employees and Customers?
The attackers used malware to download information from Pepsi Bottling Ventures' IT systems.

The stolen data vary per individual and may include the following:
● Names
● Financial details
● Social Security numbers
● Driver's license numbers
● Medical records
● Health insurance information
● Home addresses
● Email addresses
● Digital signatures
● Passwords

There is no mention of how many employees, customers, clients, and suppliers the malware attack affected. The attackers can use the stolen information for various criminal purposes. These include financial and medical fraud, identity theft, and social engineering attacks.

What Is Pepsi Bottling Ventures Doing to Address the Data Breach?
Pepsi Bottling Ventures assures its stakeholders that it takes data privacy seriously. Since the malware attack, the company has been investigating the extent of the data breach and
strengthening its security.

It also immediately reported the data breach to law enforcement and halted the affected systems. In addition, the company provided Kroll's identity monitoring services for free to those who were affected. Lastly, it advised stakeholders to change their usernames, passwords, and answers to security questions.

The Bottom Line
Business owners should prioritize data security, whether they run a small business or a large corporation. Data breaches have severe consequences. These include loss of stakeholder trust, damage to brand reputation, revenue loss, and insurmountable expenses. So tighten your security, train your employees to follow best practices, and keep auditing your efforts.

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