Report sheds light on food and ag sector cybersecurity threats

A new report on cybersecurity sheds light on potential threats to the food and ag sectors.

Jonathan Braley with the Food and Agriculture Information Sharing and Analysis Center says by tracking ransomware incidents in 2023 they learned most attacks were opportunistic.

“We might see food and agriculture companies hit by a certain group multiple times in one week, and we go in and we say ‘is this ransomware group actually targeting the food and agriculture sector?’ But if we take a broader view, we realize that their targeting is pretty spread out across all sectors.”

He tells Brownfield that means cybercriminals are scanning the internet looking for companies with publicly exposed vulnerabilities.

“Maybe poor phishing awareness, and then they’re also working with affiliate cybercriminals who have already breached organizations and they’re simply leasing their ransomware to these affiliates to get a cut of those ransoms.”

Braley says there were nearly 170 known ransomware attacks on food and ag companies last year, with phishing being the most common method.

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