Technology is continuously advancing, creating increased efficiencies and enhancements to almost every industry, agriculture being no exception. Farmers are more frequently integrating the use of technology in their operations in order to grow their yields and sustainability through methods such as the internet, cloud-based entities, big data, AI and more. There is an incredible amount of benefits gained from utilizing technology to better complete your work, but it also opens the gate to becoming vulnerable to hackers and cyber-attacks. As a farmer, are you taking the necessary precautions to protect your farm from cybercriminals?
Similar to the equipment on your farm, newer technology tools require ongoing maintenance and security measures to ensure operations continue to run smoothly. Let’s take a look at a few considerations you should make to ensure your data and farm are properly protected.
According to its 2017 Cost of a Data Breach Study, the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a cyber breach is around $3.6 million. A potential breach could be detrimental to your business which is why many opt to invest in a cyber liability insurance policy. If you routinely store sensitive data on the cloud of any other device for your farm, you should heavily consider cyber liability insurance. It helps businesses cover technology-related risks such as breaches and hacks to reduce the impact of a cyber-attack.
If the worst-case scenario becomes reality and you are met with a cyberattack, do you have a backup solution in place to ensure operations can continue? Routinely backing up your data is crucial to maintaining your most important information and helps keep it out of the hands of cybercriminals. It’s a process that you should regularly practice so that you can retrieve the information you need if it’s ever compromised. By consistently backing up your operational data and implementing strong security practices, you can rest assured that you won’t be contributing to fraud statistics any time soon.
Developing a detailed and orderly response plan is also a key part of implementing security best practices. A response plan lays out responsibilities and next steps that should be taken if ever exposed to a cyberattack. It could include establishing a point person who will help drive communications and ensure the process is documented for future reference. As well as how you plan to isolate the incident, so it doesn’t spread to other devices. This ensures you and everyone involved in your farm operation are aware of the response plan and are ready to act if needed. This will be of great value if a breach occurs.
The above methods are only a couple of ways to protect your farm’s data. Establishing best practices such as regular cybersecurity training, identifying security gaps, utilizing strong, diversified passwords and seeking professional advice if needed all work hand-in-hand to combat cybercriminals. If you are interested to learn more about cybersecurity best practices and how to effectively implement them at your farm operation, BerganKDV can help. Take our free mini security assessment for a baseline analysis of how your agribusiness’s security methods stack up or contact our team to start a conversation.