FBI raises alert to increase of ransomware attacks targeting food and agriculture sector while White House pushes for preemptive measures

A notice sent by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns companies in the food and agriculture sector to be aware of potential ransomware attacks intent on disrupting supply chains. These ransomware groups aim to “disrupt operations, cause financial loss, and negatively impact the food supply chain.”, targeting everything from small farms to large producers, manufacturers, markets, and restaurants.

This warning was published Wednesday following trends that signified another slew of attacks incoming this Labor Day Weekend. Since most staff, IT specialists specifically, will be out for vacation this leaves companies much more vulnerable to an attack over the long weekend. The majority of attacks in 2021 alone have taken place on a holiday weekend.The deputy national security adviser of the White House, Anne Neuberger, spoke to the press on Thursday warning companies to actively investigate for signs of a breach before the weekend and develop a preemptive strategy to protect themselves.

Measures that can be taken include:

  • having backups
  • network segmentation 
  • multi factor authentication
  • proactive monitoring of remote access/RDP logs. 

Ransomware groups continue to target critical sectors, of which the food and agriculture sector is a huge security concern due to the lack of a governing body over the sector’s cybersecurity. Currently the gap in cybersecurity measures for the sector haunts food and agricultural businesses. A large number of agricultural businesses still rely on outdated systems or are far too relaxed in their security measures making them more susceptible to an attack.  Businesses should heed the warning or face being the next victim of these ransomware groups.

Source: ZDNet