Farming is Hard

Farming is hard. Inputs, weather, markets, machinery, labor, and the list goes on. A farmer once told me that every day is a gamble. Why farm then? It is rewarding, if the variables are favorable, the payoff can be solid. And people gotta eat. Each farmer produces enough to feed on average 165 people.

As the agriculture community is beginning to realize, there is another, darker variable in the equation. Cyber criminals. The food and ag sectors have been somewhat immune to the attacks over the past decade, but not anymore. Recent attacks (those that are public) have raised the awareness that agriculture and food are now in the crosshairs.

Why now? The simple answer is money. Agriculture wasn’t a target necessarily because of who they are, more so, because of what they have – the means to pay the ransom. According to the recent Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), more than 75% of all cyber-attacks were financial motived and over 80% were traced to organized crime syndicates. It is a modern day Willie Sutton motivation.

In this series of posts, we’ll explore why cyber criminals are targeting agriculture and food (hint, it isn’t all about the money), who they are, how they get in, how you can protect yourself, what to do if they attack, and what the future landscape looks like.

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