Technology has transformed the agricultural sector from automated farming machinery to computer equipment to hold data.
As any modern farmer will know, there are considerable advantages to using the internet of things (IoT).
Farm automation (or smart farming) has made it easier to produce more food and improve produce quality with less effort.
However, relying on these internet-connected technologies also puts farmers at risk of being targeted by cyber criminals.
Here, to mark Cyber Security Awareness Month 2022, we look at the dangers and how you can protect your farming business.
Why does the internet of things (IoT) matter?
The IoT connects smart devices to the internet, enabling them to collect and transmit data.
Increasingly, this technology is being used by farmers to run and grow their agricultural businesses.
Technology is transforming the industry
For many farmers, the use of IoT is essential to the way they work and live today.
Never has it been easier to track farm vehicles, monitor livestock or store and analyse data.
But as the agriculture industry becomes increasingly dependent on technology, farmers have new concerns.
What are your cyber risks?
As reliance on technology grows, so too do the risks. For example, a power outage or malicious attack online could impact distribution or create fears about food safety.
Those who work across the UK farming and agriculture industry should continuously monitor their cyber security for all digital devices.
And it is vital farmers insure themselves to replace lost goods, produce, or livestock if an outage or attack cannot be prevented.
Protecting all digital aspects
With IoT, farmers can make their farms more efficient and profitable. However, it also leaves business owners, including those in the agricultural industry, open to hackers.
All computerised equipment used for day-to-day operations is at risk of being hacked.
As artificial intelligence (AI) and technology become increasingly widespread, data on smartphones, cloud-based storage, and computers can easily be stolen by cyber criminals.
Consider what coverage and risk management strategies are needed to protect your business.
What should you do?
Make sure you have adequate cyber liability insurance. Marsh Commercial can help.
Know how to reduce the risk of a cyber-attack and what to do if you suspect fraud.
- Have cybersecurity in place, such as antivirus software.
- Use a strong password for each online account or device to protect your information.
- Train staff about the risks of using IoT and how criminals can trick for illegal financial gains such as by using deepfakes and online scams.
Why do I need insurance?
Your data, equipment and machinery help your farm run smoothly, but what if there was a data security breach or something else happened? We can offer protection should you suffer an online attack.
Our cyber insurance experts can cover your liabilities on media, data security, viruses and hacking.
We can also help replace costs and repair damage to your brand. For more, visit www.marshcommercial.co.uk/for-business/cyber-risks
If you suspect fraud or cybercrime, contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk/.
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Cybersecurity was highlighted as a key risk in our UK Business Risk Report, which features findings from 1,700+ businesses. Our report brings together insight, expert commentary, and guidance on how to turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities.