Coke Discloses Data Breach Woes

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Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is the current leader of the soda world, but now it is navigating a personal data breach that has left many of its employees disgruntled, and one of its executives in a different job. According to the Wall Street Journal, Coke has always been fervent about keeping its business and employees safe from information theft, but the Atlanta, Georgia-based company was still forced to admit last week that personal information of roughly 70,000 current and former North American employees was compromised in December after a former employee stole company laptops and accessed the information that hadn’t been encrypted.

Unlike the security breach suffered by Target (NYSE:TGT) during the holiday season, the company’s perpetrator came from the inside, rather from the outside in, but employees were still shocked by Coke’s recent disclosure, especially since executives waited so long to alert its employees. A longtime Coke driver in New Jersey told the Journal, “I just find this very careless, and I think that too much time” passed before employees were informed.

Coke first disclosed Friday that customer information had been compromised, but then reiterated Sunday that it was not aware of the misuse of any personal data. According to the Journal, the company recovered 55 company laptops in November and December that had been stolen over a period of six years, and those affected by the breach included current employees, past employees, as well as Coke contractors and vendors. The former employee responsible for the compromise of 74,000 people’s information previously held a role that required him to maintain or dispose of company equipment. Coke first discovered the theft of sensitive information on the recovered computers on December 10.

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