It seems to be the lead story once per week – “Cyber attack! Data systems breached; your information may have been compromised”. The story parallels Groundhog Day with new companies and agencies becoming the latest victims each week. Trustwave, a cyber security company, in its annual 2014 report on cyber trends the world over, reported that in 2014 the Food and Beverage Industry is the second most attacked sector with 18% of global incidents.
Additional statistics in the report were alarming:
· Number of compromised victims that did not detect the breach themselves: 71%
· Average time from intrusion to detection: 87 days
· Median time from detection to containment: 7 days
Today’s food and agriculture systems are inextricably linked via the web and integrated across all other infrastructures. Additionally, these systems are continually expanding and include: pre-harvest production support systems, food processing control systems, food product distribution and tracking systems, food firm financial and administrative systems, and retail point of sale.
Now is the time to build food protection collaborations on this emerging threat to our sector. Understanding the current landscape and where vulnerabilities exist will aid us collectively in developing mitigation strategies to protect our food supply. Let us know if you want to be part of the conversation.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Amy Kircher, DrPH is the Director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, A Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Follow Dr. Kircher on Twitter @FoodDefender for the latest news and information on what is happening in the food protection and defense world!