U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a report titled “Threats to Precision Agriculture” that there is an imminent risk and cybersecurity threats relating to the technology used by the agricultural industry. Simply known as precision agriculture, this technology relies on IoT or what is known as the Internet of Things. It aims to improve agricultural and livestock management through GPS, remote sensors and communication systems supporting them. Its adoption has significantly widened thus also increasing the potential security risks associated to it.
Based on the report, threat scenarios like malware infection, phishing, and incorrect usage of external drives like USBs could compromise automated systems with the deployment of precision agriculture. If any of these happen, it can lead to data loss, equipment destruction, loss of resources, and reputational damage. It can also put confidential data at risk for theft.
Best practices were also discussed in the said report which could mitigate the threats.
“Adoption of information security standards for precision agriculture is important for the future success of precision agriculture, along with industry efforts for equipment interoperability and data use / privacy. Vetted best practices, borne from hard experience learned in other sectors which have proceeded agriculture in the digital revolution, offer a proven path for data security.”