Social Links Search




Shield your farm from hackers

Shield your farm from hackers

By Scout Nelson

In South Dakota, a natural event involving an aurora borealis ‘Northern Lights’ solar storm display disrupted GPS-dependent farming equipment. This incident, while temporary, underscored the vulnerability of modern agriculture to technological failures.

Today's farms utilize advanced technologies ranging from smartphone apps to comprehensive environmental control systems.

These innovations, part of the Internet of Things (IoT), enhance productivity but also expose agricultural operations to cyber threats.

Recent global events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have further revealed the fragility of our food supply chain to such disruptions.

Cybersecurity concerns are intensifying within the agricultural sector. Reports indicate an increase in cyber-attacks where hackers target internet-connected sensors and data systems used in agriculture. These attacks not only risk data theft but can also manipulate or disable essential agricultural technologies.

Incidents include Ukrainian hackers disabling Russian military tractors and extensive ransomware attacks across the U.S. food and agriculture sectors, leading to significant financial losses.

The FBI’s 2023 Internet Crime Complaint Center Report highlighted 2,825 ransomware complaints with losses approximating $59.6 billion, underscoring the high stakes involved.

The threat extends beyond large organizations; individual farms are also at risk. In one case, a U.S. farm suffered a $9 million loss due to a ransomware attack. These attacks often originate from seemingly harmless communications, like phishing emails, which can grant attackers access to critical systems and data.

The incidence of cyber scams differs by age group, with younger demographics displaying the highest vulnerability, according to a recent Gallup poll. The frequent portrayal of high-tech hacking in media overlooks the more common and equally dangerous risks posed by simple social engineering tactics.

Given these risks, it is crucial for those in agriculture to prioritize cybersecurity. Future discussions will focus on specific strategies to protect farms, ranches, and related businesses from these growing cyber threats.

As technology continues to infiltrate agriculture, the need for robust cybersecurity measures becomes more critical, ensuring the safety and continuity of our essential food supply systems.

Photo Credit -pexels-anna-tarazevich

South Dakota leads US in hemp production South Dakota leads US in hemp production
Why farmers hesitate on carbon market Why farmers hesitate on carbon market

Categories: South Dakota, General

Subscribe to newsletters

Crop News

Rural Lifestyle News

Livestock News

General News

Government & Policy News

National News

Back To Top