On the surface, it doesn’t seem that the agriculture industry would be a big target for cybercrime. But with spring planting season in full swing across much of the US, including Montana, the FBI is advising agri-businesses that they may be just that. The FBI has noted reported attacks on six grain cooperatives in Fall 2021 and at least two earlier this year.
Incidents of cyberattacks on agri-businesses in the spring or fall may be motivated by a quick payoff due to the time-sensitive nature of agricultural production. Rather than delay planting in May, there are situations where agri-businesses feel they must pay a ransomware demand to keep production on schedule. Hackers know it and they are targeting this industry for quick payoffs.
The FBI recommends implementing protection against ransomware attacks including backing up critical data, implementing recovery plans, regularly installing software patches, using multi-factor authentication, and strong passwords. Their full list of recommendations for agri-businesses is provided in the alert from April 2022.
Contact the DIG to learn more about preventative cybersecurity or to see if your current security is up to the task of protecting you. Thank you!