Precision agriculture advancement offers large attack surface

News by Robert Abel

Advancements in precision agriculture, a farming management concept that incorporates internet of things (IoT) technology into farming techniques, has expanded the industry's cyber-attack surface.

Advancements in precision agriculture, a farming management concept that incorporates internet of things (IoT) technology into farming techniques, has expanded the industry's cyber-attack surface. That's according to a US Department of Homeland Security (DHSreport addressing the threats to new precision agriculture technologies used in crop and livestock production that could allow an attacker access to sensitive data and resources and or destroy equipment.

The report highlights potential vulnerabilities, identifies potential threat scenarios, and suggests possible best practices for producers and related agricultural businesses.

Researchers noted that most of the cyber-threats to the technology are consistent with threat vectors in other commercial industries but noted that precision agriculture is unique because its attack space is dramatically increased by connecting a highly mechanical, labour-intensive industry to the internet.

To combat these threats, researchers recommended key controls such as the implementation of email and web browser protections; limited and controlled network ports, protocols and services; inventory and control hardware assets; inventory and control software assets; account monitoring and control; and separate operational technologies and business operations.

* This story first appeared in SC Magazine North America.

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