Farmscape for December 13, 2023
|Full Interview 8:13
The General Manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture warns everyone who uses the internet is vulnerable to a cyber-attack.
Cyber-attacks and security breaches are becoming increasing common. Cathy Lennon, the General Manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, says as online hackers become more sophisticated the need for stepped up awareness and heightened cybersecurity become more critical.
Quote-Cathy Lennon-Ontario Federation of Agriculture:
I think probably the biggest way that folks get inside your business system, whether it’s your phone or your computer or your network applications in your barn or equipment is through some sort of trickery, finding access to your user name and password that allow them to get inside. That is often done by way of a phone call or an email or a text message or sending a link to you that you click on and then that gives them access because you have visited their web site and they’ve gotten inside that way.
It’s hard often to say where specifically the attacks are coming from. A lot of the data that we are able to see when you’re able to track where the ransom comes from, which is largely by where does the money go if money is involved. We are able to see that a number of these attacks are coming from China, India and North Korea but also in some cases very likely it’s coming from a former employee, a disgruntled employee potentially or in some cases activist with an alternative agenda. I truly believe that everyone is vulnerable.
Scammers are getting better and smarter so we have to keep up to them. If you have a phone or an iPad or a computer, if you do online banking, if you have a system in your combine or in your barn that is run through the internet, you are vulnerable. And if you have employees that are doing transactions and business for you and you’ve got multiple people involved, each one of those people presents a risk.
Lennon recommends the use of unique user names and passwords for each account and keeping software up to date to improve security and diligence in maintaining backups so systems can be restored if they are compromised.
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*Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers