Cybersecurity Risks Mount While Bag-in-Box Gives Brewers “Cider Security”

In this two-part Take Five, we first take a look at mounting risks around cybersecurity, then switch gears to look at a rising bag-in-box trend among intentionally flat beers and ciders.


Quick hits:

  • The average cost of a cyberattack in 2020 was almost $4 million dollars, and 33% of those attacks targeted manufacturers.
  • There are three steps to securing and protecting your organization: Analyze vulnerabilities, segment networks, train personnel.        
  • On a lighter note, a trend toward uncarbonated or flat beers and ciders has opened up the bag-in-box format, formerly reserved for wine, to beer and cider brewers.
  • While some brewers like Primitive Brewing are starting slowly and mostly selling the bag-in-box format out of taphouses, others like Healeys Cyder are pushing production to 100 packs per hour, and the corrugated needs to be robust enough to protect the liquid-filled flexible film pouch throughout the supply chain. 

Related to this episode:

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   Read the transcript below:

Kim Overstreet: Hi, I'm Kim Overstreet, Senior Content Strategist with PMMI Media Group. Today I'm going to discuss a new report from PMMI Business Intelligence on cybersecurity in manufacturing.

During the first quarter of 2020 cyberattacks targeting manufacturers accounted for 11% of all incidents across all industries, with the losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. By second quarter of 2020, that figure jumped to 33% and 28% of the total security breaches were at small businesses.

The average cost of a cyberattack in 2020 was around $3.86 million. Despite these figures, many manufacturers are still not aware of risks that result from a lax approach to this issue. Cybersecurity for manufacturers is more than login security and email scams. Every sensor connected to a machine, every machine connected to a network and every network connected to a centralized control system are potential pathways for cybercrime.

There are two key areas of vulnerability in manufacturing environments. One is integrated production lines that use smart sensors and actuators to collect data. The other is data storage such as cloud and edge computing. Also, actions by a company's own employees, whether intentional or accidental, are often either the direct cause or play a large role in determining the success of an attempted attack.

Careless or uninformed staff played a role in 46% of all cyberattacks that occurred in 2019, and 11% of the most serious and damaging of all cyberattacks involved some kind of employee carelessness. Some steps companies can implement immediately with employees include regular training, using a secure VPN and implementing multi-level password authentications. Carrying insurance in the event of a cyberattack has also become a common practice for manufacturers.

Ultimately, there are three main steps to increasing cybersecurity. The first is to analyze operational vulnerabilities. The second is addressing security gaps and lapses. Then properly segmenting networks, manage their access and create and test a recovery plan. The final step is proper personnel training.

If you'd like to read more of the details presented here and to download this free report, visit this link.

Matt Reynolds: Hi, I'm Matt Reynolds, back with another edition of Take Five. We just heard some stark and scary news from Kim Overstreet in the previous two minutes about cybersecurity. Let's lighten the mood a little bit and talk about a trend that we've seen just emerging lately in craft brew, and that is the bag in box format.

Now, traditionally, this has been for wines because craft brew is carbonated and carbonation doesn't sit well in the flexible film that's inside the bag and box. But another trend that's going on right now is towards ciders and also traditional, let's say, real ales or meads, older style, almost ancient style beers.

One of those is Primitive Brewing out of Longmont, Colorado. They're doing an interesting bag in box with a lambic style ale that fortunately is flat. It doesn't have any carbonation that would render that bag and box style unusable.

Originally they had started with a one year aged. They've moved to two to three year aged beers because at that point, once you're getting to two to three years of age, it's eaten through all the sugars and created all the carbon dioxide so there's not much fermentation going on.

They have an interesting project with supplier, AstroPouch, who sources the bags, the corrugated, and a semi-automated machine AstroFill 1000. I asked them about speeds and how many bags per minute. They corrected me and said, "How many minutes per bag?" This is quite a slow process, but it's done with an unpasteurized product that is going to be sold mostly in the brewery. It's not going to be going through long supply chains or anything like that.

But meanwhile, I had just heard about another project. This is from Healey's Cyder in Cornwall in the UK. They have a project called Rattler Cornish Cloudy Cider. It's a flat cider that they're now marketing in a bag and box format that they call, get this, Flattler because it's a rattler that's flat. But this is a product that's pasteurized and it's intended for supply chains. Given that it's intended to go to travel, it needed a robust external box corrugated. It's using a 300 GSM that's grams per square meter. It's a European measure, that's much more robust. The corrugated itself is Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple. It uses an envelope-style bag and box format.

Those are two pretty interesting bag and box formats that we've seen recently and something to keep an eye out for. I know I'm going to be heading to the craft brew conference soon, and I'll be keeping an eye out for that.

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