The agricultural sector in Australia is unprepared for cyber-attacks and must take immediate steps to properly protect critical economic data. After digitising patient records, the health sector became a cyber crime target, according to an organisation focused on the long-term prosperity of producers. On Monday, AgriFutures Australia released a study urging industries to take immediate action. “There has been a fast acceptance of technology in recent years, and with it, an increased risk of digital attacks,” according to the paper. “Australia’s agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors are in a similar situation to the health system five years ago, with a sluggish but steady increase in new technology use and a largely mismanaged cyber security risk.”
The group discovered that hackers were using online payment portals and computerised machinery to benefit from agricultural research, intellectual property, and other commercially sensitive data. People’s valuable personal and financial information was at risk, putting them at risk of identity theft. In a survey of about 1000 agriculture, fishery, and forestry producers, it was discovered that they overestimated the threat of activists and competitors while underestimating the risk of supply chain data breaches. “This raises the probability that the industries do not fully comprehend their cyber threats,” according to the report. It also discovered that many businesses had not implemented effective cyber security controls.
People, on average, gave a 3.5 out of 5 rating to their understanding and trust in cyber risk, while only 16% had an incident response strategy in place. In addition, many respondents lacked the skills or understanding on how or where to seek help in the event of a cyber assault. The most common attacks were ransomware, phishing, scam emails, malware, and data breaches. Furthermore, wool sales across the country were halted for more than a week last year when hackers took down the industry’s main trading system. Australia exports between $60 million and $80 million of wool a week. During the ransomware attack, about 70,000 bales scheduled for sale were grounded.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)