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Cybersecurity in the Agricultural Industry

Cybersecurity is a frequent subject in the news these days.  Unfortunately, this type of attack has not escaped our industry. In May, JBS was hit with a ransomware threat which shut down nine of its plants for days.

JBS, is the number one global beef, poultry and pork producer. They control a fifth of the United States meat supply. 

The attack caused a crash in the futures market.  Fortunately, after the attack, the markets recovered and feed prices went back up.  According to The Wall Street Journal, in order to get out of this bind, JBS ended up paying $11 million dollars to hackers to regain control of their systems in June.

Huff Post reported this type of attack has been on the radar, because The University of Minnesota’s Food Protection and Defense Institute released a report pointing to the food industry as a frequent target of cyber-criminals. 

These criminals are looking for easy targets.  So, be sure to develop a strategy to protect your business from this type of vulnerability. These types of attacks do not just affect companies virtually.  This attack on JBS, resulted in suspending the operations at nine beef processing plants due to the intensity of breach. Ransomware attacks can disrupt markets, restaurants, producers and processors.

This event demonstrated the true fragility of our world’s food industry.  Because we rely so heavily on technology for our communication and processing, it is no surprise a cyber-attack like this one happened.  Even though this attack happened in just a matter of days, it took much longer to regain control and it will have long-term effects for our industry.

For more information on recent cybersecurity attacks in the food and agriculture industry, please visit or contact us at 630-200-1215 and