As Precision agriculture is gradually being adopted globally and farmers embracing technology and becoming increasingly technology inclined, there are indications that the threat to this digital revolution may not be far-fetched as a recent notice from the FBI and USDA has warned of impending threats.
The two agencies assessed the food and Agriculture sector and found out it is increasingly becoming susceptible to cyber attacks as farmers now rely on digitized data.
“While precision agriculture technology reduces farming costs and increases crop yields, farmers need to be aware of and understand the associated cyber risks to their data and ensure that companies entrusted to manage their data, including digital management tool and application developers and cloud service providers, develop adequate cybersecurity and breach response plans.”
The sector which now adopts the use of equipments and services that collects and analyze various farm-level data such as soil content, crop past yield, planting recommendations among others is likely going to face threats of these data being stolen or destroyed via cyber attacks.
The FBI and USDA assess the farming industry’s growing adoption of precision agriculture technology may increase cyber targeting activity against the FA Sector with the intent to steal farm-level data in bulk. A recent example of government-authorized big data analytics demonstrates the value of aggregating farm-level data to track and even anticipate crop availability and pricing.
According to the report released by the two agencies, one safe measure to guard against these threats is to implement a robust data back-up and recovery plan.Farmers or their data management companies should ensure that data are securely backed-up and maintained in a secure and separate location.
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