Does Your Farm Need an IT Managed Service Provider?
The agriculture industry is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Learn how to protect your farm or company’s invaluable data from a devastating breach.
Technology has radically changed the way farming works in the 21st century. Drones enable farmers to analyze land or crops with ease and even apply fertilizers or pesticides to large areas of land. Automated devices seed, weed, and even harvest certain types of crops. Smartphones enable farmers to communicate with suppliers and buyers quickly and easily while a wide range of software programs make it easy for farmers to log important information.
While modern technology certainly has its benefits, there are also risks. The Department of Homeland Security is warning the agricultural industry is particularly vulnerable to cybercrime. The following are some reasons why as well as tips on how to avoid falling victim to malicious internet-based criminals.
Why is the Agriculture Industry Susceptible to Cybercriminals?
There are several reasons why the agriculture industry is susceptible to cybercrime attacks. These include:
- Many of the tools and software programs farmers use are built by start-up firms or university extension programs that do not regularly update their tools or programs to patch vulnerabilities. What is more, the program/tool designers often outsource portions of their work to third-party services that may not be entirely reliable.
- Unscrupulous hedge fund managers and commodity brokers would be willing to pay a high price for confidential farm data.
- Hostile foreign governments with access to an agricultural company’s network and data could use it against the United States. Drone images, for instance, offer valuable information to terrorists planning an attack in the area. Network access could enable a foreign agent to shut down automated farm equipment just before harvest or planting season, thus severely decreasing food production in the country.
How Can Farmers Prevent Cyberattacks?
Thankfully, there are several things farmers can do to prevent cyberattacks. These include:
- Securing mobile devices by updating security applications to prevent malware, virus, and Trojan attacks
- Securing the farm’s network by using a firewall
- Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Passwords should never be written down and only those who need to access the network regularly should know them.
- Providing regular cybersecurity training to all employees. Employee training is one of the six pillars of cybersecurity. It’s not hard to see why considering the fact that 60% of all data breaches in 2019 were caused by human error.
DeVeera is an IT managed service provider that specializes in meeting the unique needs of the agricultural industry. We provide employee cybersecurity training, secure cloud storage, network and mobile device management, customized software applications with 24/7 support, and more so you can focus on growing your business without worrying about a devastating cyberattack. Get in touch with us to learn more or to make an appointment with one of our IT experts.