What is the cyber threat posed by these devices?
We are amidst exciting times as we experience machines thinking, talking and adding value to how individuals engage with the world in their daily lives. With over 20 billion internet-connected devices expected to run by 2020, the deluge of data streams from these devices would warrant the use of edge computing, sophisticated analytics and AI. Innovative interplay of such technologies to produce desirable use cases is egging on the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) today.
Globally, countries are fast-adopting IoT in spaces such as retail, consumer wearables, commerce and smart infrastructure. Currently a relatively small market for IoT, India aims to clinch at least 20 percent market share in the next 5 years. The Indian government’s efforts in modeling a ‘Digital India’ highlight the indispensable role of IoT and cloud technologies to usher in a digital revolution for growth in India. In the 2016-17 Union Budget, the government promised an outlay of Rs. 7296 crores as part of its AMRUT and Mission to build 100 Smart Cities, the success of which is contingent on adaptive use of sensors, smart devices, connectivity, cloud and Big Data technologies.
Each time you use generation to create cost, it provides a possibility for an evil-doer to make the most it for evil functions. Usually we are our very own worst enemies. In the cyber security commercial enterprise, we are our personal worst enemies. Most compromises, information losses, and so on are created with the aid of the person’s own conduct. The idea that there are cyber criminals out there who’re fantastically trained and skilled and simply clever with computers is greater fantasy than truth. Maximum cyber safety breaches are triggered via exploiting the conduct of people seeking to protect their own stuff or by using the usage of the character’s personal stuff—social engineering is the number one reason of cyber safety troubles. The maximum widespread challenge might be some nicely-meaning soul trying to make use of generation for a benefit, a product, a provider, or something like that, who will use it incorrectly. Most cyber security breaches are carried out with a phishing e mail or from a website.
Cybersecurity in general usually goes with the principal of 80/20. This means that 80 percent of the time cybersecurity issues and basics apply to any sector. The other 20 percent of it is sector-specific. This ends up being the most important 20 percent. The four areas that present a cybersecurity threat in agriculture are in access to services, personal privacy areas, proprietary information, and IP.
When it comes to proprietary matters, you talk about corporations and larger entities. Service is more farmers on the tractors. For IP, you’re talking about folks who are innovating and trying new things and doing research. So, every part of the ag industry has an element of these four things, but in different combinations depending on the purpose of each.
When we do smart agriculture, we smartly use technology. We smartly use the data created by technology and smartly protect the data that we use for that technology. One thing we focus on is creating awareness around cybersecurity. After awareness comes action, and action has to do not only with how you do business and what your business processes are, but also some basic investments, like encrypting data where privacy issues are at play.
The report outlined the following threats to farmers and agriculturalists:
Data-theft: The biggest threat to farms is the theft of sensitive data. Some hackers wish to steal farm data such as information about soil content, past crop yields, planting recommendations, etc. They could use this information to “exploit US agriculture resources and market trends.”
Ransomware: Common across all industries, hackers will encrypt farmers’ data and hold it for ransom. Only when the money is paid will the hackers release the data back to its rightful owner. This could interrupt farming processes dramatically. In addition, hacktivists (activist hackers) may steal data and destroy it in an effort to protest genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or pesticides.
Equipment hacking: Cyber criminals may attack internet-connected equipment in order to render it useless and disrupt food production and processing.
The report was issued because “historically, the farming industry has lacked awareness of how their data should be protected from cyber exploitation.” However, some larger companies, such as Monsanto, are working to increase their cyber defenses.
Through the introduction of advanced sensing and monitoring technology the agrifood sector increasingly uses the possibilities of the “Internet of Things” as well as access to data from third parties. Process automation in milking and crop production, site-specific application of fertilizers and crop protection based on combinations of sensors and other data sources in the chain (including market information and phenotypical data) delivers large amounts of data2 . Take the tremendous growth of automatic milking systems, with approximately 10,000 farms across the globe milking more than 1.2 million cows unmanned. Northern Europe, the Netherlands, Germany and France are leading the shift towards automatic milking. 90% of new equipment installations in Sweden and Finland, and 50% in Germany include robotic milking.
As illustrated above, the agrifood sector has transformed itself into a more data-driven and complex ecosystem17. Companies have become increasingly dependent on IT in their primary processes and almost 100% availability is required these days. Growing digital requirements and trends (for example mobility, cloud computing, IoT, big data) continue to pose new challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. Technology like data platforms, wireless sensor networks, RFID, GPS, business management systems can be vulnerable to breakdown, abuse and misuse. What are the actual threats to agrifood businesses? Software is a crucial part of the digital infrastructure in the agrifood sector. Vulnerabilities in software and systems remain relentlessly high. According to CSAN 201518 software suppliers in 2014 released thousands of updates in order to repair vulnerabilities in their software. This is the main problem when it comes to cybersecurity. The lack of IT sustainability becomes more and more a problem because a lot of software cannot easily be updated, especially in process control systems19. As long as the “updates” have not been installed, parts of their network will continue to be vulnerable. This problem has still not been resolved adequately and allows actors to abuse these vulnerabilities. Let’s not forget that human error, technical or system failure and natural causes are still a major cause for ICT incidents and failure. Most of the time these system failures are software bugs, hardware failures and software misconfigurations20. But outage can also have an external cause. For example, power failure is among the most common causes for IT failure21. Vulnerabilities are only weak spots when they are abused. According to multiple government reports, professional criminals and state actors have become a serious risk for business and governments22. Criminals become more professional and have more equipment and tooling to execute cyber hacks. Data, money and other valuable assets such as intellectual property, confidential business data, personal information and the continuity and integrity of digital processes can be abused by malicious actors