All About the Benjamins

Money is to us as water is to a fish. It is no wonder that financial gain is the overwhelming motivation for cybercriminals. The ease in which they can penetrate our networks and hold our crown jewels hostage gives them the incentive to work harder and faster for those payouts. There are other dangers as well (IP theft, malice, activists) that the agriculture/food communities need to be aware of, in this post, we’ll examine the main cybersecurity threat, financial reward. Understanding the primary reason cybercriminals attack us will go a long way in helping with mitigation.

Money can also unlock the door to get into a business network. According to a recent survey, cybercriminals are paying up to $100,000 for insider access with an average payout of $56,250. We’ll discuss the potential for insider threats (and how to mitigate them) in a later blog post. 

Some business owners might think that they are too small of a fish to worry about ransomware. The thing that they need to be aware of is not only does the size of the ransom matter, but the likelihood and the speed at which it is paid are also part of the equation. These criminals have been in a computer network on average for four months before the machines are encrypted (and data stolen). They know the most vulnerable time to execute their plan. They likely know the exact amount the insurance company will payout in ransom (if a victim is fortunate enough to even have a policy). 

They’ll hold the crown jewels hostage until payment is received or else they will turn all the expensive computer networks into plastic bricks. We’ll explore other motivations that these cybercriminals have that are more unique to the agriculture and food sectors in later blogs (as well as steps an organization can take to lessen their profile as an easy target).

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