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Nearly every industry is embracing technology to improve efficiency and boost productivity. Agriculture, a cornerstone of human sustenance, is no exception. Advanced tools, machinery, and data management systems now dominate modern farms. However, as the agriculture sector shifts to technology, it becomes increasingly vulnerable to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) cyber breaches.

What are ICS Breaches?

Industrial Control Systems, or ICS, are integrated hardware and software used to control and monitor industrial processes. An ICS breach occurs when unauthorized parties gain access to these systems, potentially disrupting or manipulating the processes they oversee. Such breaches can lead to financial loss, equipment damage, and even safety concerns.

Farmers: Why the Concern?

You might be thinking, “How can a farm be a target for cyber breaches?” The answer lies in the very tools and systems that have revolutionized farming. Modern agriculture heavily relies on ICS for irrigation systems, equipment controls, and grain storage facility regulation. A hacker can potentially take over grain management systems, dryers, irrigators or automatic feeders, damage crops, or wreak havoc on a farmer’s equipment by exploiting vulnerabilities in these systems. For example, if a malicious actor modifies the temperature settings of a storage facility, it can lead to significant crop loss. In the instance of a dairy farm, taking control of the system would prevent the entire herd from being milked on schedule. In many instances there are not enough hired hands or manual equipment to even keep up with the size of the herd. Thus leading to loss of livestock, equipment, and profit.

Traditional Insurance: The Coverage Gap

Most farmers have insurance to cover traditional risks such as crop failure, equipment damage, or natural disasters. But, the majority of these policies don’t cover losses resulting from cybercrimes. If a cyberattack causes a farmer to lose their harvest, they may face significant financial strain without any compensation. As the frequency of these cyber threats increases, it becomes essential for the farming community to explore new forms of protection.

Tech Support.Farm: Your Shield against Cyber Threats

For farmers looking for robust defenses against cyber threats, managed security services providers (MSSPs) like Tech Support.Farm” step in as a savior. They provide a baseline defense by continuously monitoring systems, identifying potential vulnerabilities, and implementing measures to counter threats. By integrating state-of-the-art cybersecurity practices, Tech Support.Farm ensures that farmers can focus on what they do best, farming, while leaving the digital safety in expert hands.

In Conclusion

As the world grows more interconnected, it’s crucial to stay one step ahead of potential threats. The marriage of agriculture and technology is a boon, but it also introduces new vulnerabilities. Proactively defending farms with specialized services like Tech Support.Farm is not just wise but essential.

Post Author: Chris Sherman

Chris grew up in Minnesota’s lakes country and started his first job at 11yrs old doing chores at the neighbor’s dairy farm. Summers were spent cleaning stalls, hauling silage, milking cows, raking hay, and endless hours picking rocks.

After graduating high school, he spent 10 years in industrial manufacturing. In 2005 he began studying Lean Manufacturing through the Shingo Prize Institute and passed his Bronze Level exams. Later he went on to redesign several production processes, and led facilities through numerous technological upgrades. During this time, Chris pursued his formal education, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rasmussen University of Fargo. Ultimately, he received his MBA from Benedictine University in 2016.

In 2014 Chris returned to agriculture and took a position with a North Dakota based ag construction company. He spent the next 8 years managing the company’s service department, overseeing large-scale irrigation projects, and construction of grain handling facilities across North Dakota and Minnesota.

Currently, Chris lives in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota with his wife and children. He sat on the board of directors for the Becker County Economic Development Authority and the county’s Housing Authority for six years. He served as the board president until the end of his term in 2020.