Cyber Challenges for the Food and Agriculture Sector
The National Cybersecurity Institute stated that the “Department of Homeland Security has labeled the food and agriculture industry as one of the 16 national critical infrastructures.” These infrastructures are always at a higher risk for attack than other sectors. In regards to the food and agriculture division, the issue lies with agro terrorism. Forbes defined agro terrorism as the “intentional contamination of the food supply with a goal of terrorizing the population and causing harm.” This works on two levels. The first being that hackers could infiltrate major supply chains and disrupt the transportation of goods where they are needed. This is dangerous because it could leave certain areas without food and beverages. The second level is that hackers could gain access to the programmable logic controllers that control the process of food irradiation. These bad actors could manipulate the amount of chemicals put into the food, causing widespread illness, and potentially, death.