Cyberattacks can affect the performance of the food industry, reveals a report by University of Minnesota. The report sheds light on the vulnerability of food safety and production domains to cyberthreats. The researchers at the University also look into the growing problem of adulteration within the industry. The Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI) of the University released the report titled, “Adulterating More Than Food: The Cyber Risk to Food Processing and Manufacturing”. The report quantifies the magnitude of cybersecurity risks across the food industry. It also suggests pragmatic solutions to secure operations within the food sector.
Cybersecurity Concerns in the Food Industry
Cybersecurity is rarely addressed in light of the food industry. However, the growing incidence of cyberattacks on the food industry has exposed several vulnerabilities. Although attacks on the food industry are not as severe as the ones on healthcare and energy. Security experts believe that the food industry would be amongst the primary targets of cyber criminals in the years to follow. However, cyberattacks on the food industry will not be as severe as the ones on healthcare and energy sectors.
Industrial control systems within the food industry are the prime targets for cyber criminals. An attack on these systems can have adverse consequences on public health. Moreover, performance of workers in the food industry can also be affected in the event of a cyberattack. To top all of this, the financial losses borne by food manufacturers due to cyberattacks are irreversible. Henceforth, there is a pressing need for cyber security systems within the food industry.
Need for Quick-fixes
The poor coordination amongst stakeholders in the food industry has created inlets for cyberattacks. Furthermore, food manufacturers are unaware about the interplay of IT systems and control nodes within their organization. Cybersecurity experts believe that the food industry has enough time to act upon its vulnerabilities. However, unwarranted delays in improving cybersecurity could affect industrial performance in the long run.