Cheese is among the world’s most popular foods. It comes in a wide array of pungencies, textures, and tastes, and from a staggering range of animals and geographical regions. Cheesemakers and consumers globally take their cheese seriously, and preferences run from gourmet truffle-infused cheddar to processed “cheese food.”

Whatever your preference, cheese has become so ubiquitous that it often gets taken for granted. This is especially true of varieties that occupy a prominent position on our breakfast menus. Cream cheese is a mainstay of American comfort cuisine. This spreadable soft cheese tastes great on bagels and crackers, and it’s a key ingredient of classic holiday desserts.

Until now. This holiday season, cream cheese cupboards are bare. The culprit? A ransomware attack earlier in the year disrupted an already ailing supply chain. In October 2021, a ransomware attack targeted Schreiber Foods, which affected its plants and distribution centers. This further intensified supply chain issues already plaguing many parts of the world, making it harder to get cream cheese distributed ahead of the holidays.

Ransomware Spread

New York is famous in part for its cuisine and food styles, including pretzels, pizza, and hot dogs. Unfortunately, two of its most iconic foods rely on cream cheese: New York-style cheesecake and bagels with schmear. In early December, bagel shop owners across the city reported a dire situation. They were running out of cream cheese.

New York is far from the only place where businesses have felt the pinch. Eli’s Cheesecake in Chicago recognized the looming issue, but has managed to maintain production. The nearby city of Detroit saw an abrupt impact on cream cheese availability. Erica Pietrzyk, owner of Pietrzyk Pierogi, found that her usual wholesalers had run out of the spread, and others that still had supplies were selling it at higher prices. She uses cream cheese in two of her most popular pierogis.

What adversely impacted Schreiber Foods here is that they were unable to use their systems for several days, impacting production. Furthermore, there are few manufacturers of cream cheese, which exacerbated the supply situation. Although the competing manufacturer Kraft Heinz was not impacted, demand strained its supply. The company offered a $20 reimbursement incentive to the general public to make holiday meals that do not use cream cheese.

Security with All the Fixings

The fallout from the ransomware attack was felt several weeks after Schreiber Foods was hit. From a competitive standpoint, this could easily divert consumer spending to other cream cheese manufacturers. With their infrastructure down for several days at a crucial time, part of the costs in this cyberattack includes lost revenue.

SecureData specializes in cutting-edge data security solutions that help organizations prevent ransomware attacks by securing critical business data and backups on encrypted offline media. SecureDrive BT and SecureUSB BT devices are FIPS-validated and hardware-encrypted portable storage devices that enable users to store and backup data to a device that is safe from online hacking.

Our BT product line authenticates via a free smartphone app and can easily leverage iPhone/Android Face ID and Touch ID biometrics for even greater levels of security. BT devices also come enabled out of the box for our Remote Management Console, a software-free subscription service that gives IT administrators centralized control over all BT devices throughout an organization from anywhere in the world.

To learn more about these and other data security solutions, contact one of our data security experts today at 424-363-8535 to schedule a free demo.

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