Food processors, agribusiness and farms encouraged to tighten cybersecurity measures

A cybersecurity expert says the agriculture industry needs to be aware of the possibility of ransomware attacks and take appropriate steps to ensure that it is not a target for hackers.

There was a wake-up call in early June when the world’s largest meat processing company was hit by a ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of cyber attack that infects your device, keeping your information hostage until you pay a fee. Brazilian company JBS had to shut down operations for a day at several plants across North America, including the large beef processing plant in High River, Alta.

JBS decided to pay a Russian hacking group $ 13.3 million to obtain the encryption code.

David Mason is the director of corporate security at cybersecurity artificial intelligence firm, Darktrace. He says it’s very important to have up-to-date antivirus software and firewall protection.

“There is always something known as digitization going on,” he said. “Often this is not a malicious scan. It’s just big companies sending messages, but it’s a red flag for people to realize that there is a possibility that someone is coming knocking on my door and I am not aware .

Mason says hackers prefer targets where they can walk through the front door, which is why he recommends changing passwords often.

“Use strong passwords for everything. Do not use the same password because if it is compromised, everything is compromised. I know it’s a pain in the neck, but do it and you’ll be fine, ”he said.

You can hear Mason’s full interview below.


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