Cybersecurity has become more important these days, considering cyber attacks on large companies like Optus or Medibank, no one is safe. While it is affecting many aspects of our lives, we should look at it from another point of view:
As a consumer, I am always concerned about the safety of the food I am eating. I want to trust the food manufacturers, but sometimes it is difficult to know who to trust. I have seen stories in the news about companies that say their products are healthy, but then it turns out that they are not. I have also seen stories about companies that say their products are safe, but then it turns out that they are not. So how can I know for sure? What if their system is compromised by a hacker on the other side of the world? In this day and age that everything is online (or on the cloud), make us vulnerable to cyber-criminals if they decide to change the control measures on our food safety systems which can lead to a major health issue.
In the past few years, according to the statistics of the World Health Organization, one in every 10 people has suffered from food poisoning. What is even more alarming, this problem is spreading further. According to a recent publication "Foodborne illness outbreaks linked to small, local private bodies", during the last 10 years, 92% of the outbreaks of food poisoning were caused by food from small private companies.
The existing system has many problems – an absence of accountability, delays in issuing permits and licenses, insufficient training of personnel and corruption.
Furthermore, it cannot control or even see what is happening in smaller companies that produce food or serve it. More than 6 million people are being poisoned with food every year!
Protecting Food Companies from Cybersecurity Hacks: Strategies and Solutions
In today's digital age, businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats, and food companies are no exception. The food industry is responsible for producing and distributing products that are consumed by millions of people every day, making it a prime target for cybercriminals. A successful cyber attack can lead to loss of valuable data, financial loss, and damage to the company's reputation and more importantly cause a major widespread health problem.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that food companies take appropriate measures to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Here, we will discuss three strategies that food companies can use to safeguard themselves against cybersecurity hacks.
The first strategy that food companies can use to protect themselves from cybersecurity hacks is to conduct regular security assessments to identify vulnerabilities in the system. A security assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of the company's IT infrastructure, policies, and procedures to identify potential risks and threats. By conducting regular security assessments, companies can identify vulnerabilities in their system and take proactive measures to address them. This will help to reduce the risk of a cyber attack and ensure that the company's valuable data is secure.
During a security assessment, the company's IT team will review the existing security policies and procedures, conduct vulnerability scans, and perform penetration testing. The team will identify weaknesses in the system and recommend solutions to address the vulnerabilities. For example, the team may recommend implementing stronger access controls, updating software and systems, and improving employee training and awareness programs.
ISO/IEC 27001 is the international standard for information security. It sets out the specification for an effective ISMS (information security management system). ISO 27001's approach helps organisations manage their information security by addressing people, processes and technology.
The second strategy that food companies can use to protect themselves from cybersecurity hacks is to implement strong password policies and multi-factor authentication for all employees. Passwords are the first line of defence against cyber attacks, and it is essential that employees use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and should include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
In addition to strong passwords, food companies should implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all employees. MFA is a security measure that requires users to provide two or more forms of authentication before they can access the system. For example, a user may need to enter a password and a verification code sent to their mobile phone. MFA adds an extra layer of security and makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to the system.
The third strategy that food companies can use to protect themselves from cybersecurity hacks is to ensure that all software and systems are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software and systems to gain unauthorized access to the system. Therefore, it is essential that companies keep their software and systems up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.
To ensure that software and systems are up-to-date, food companies should establish a patch management process that includes regular checks for updates and patches. The IT team should test the updates and patches before deploying them to ensure that they do not cause any issues with the system. By keeping software and systems up-to-date, food companies can reduce the risk of a cyber attack and ensure that their valuable data is secure.
In conclusion, cyber-attacks are a real threat to food companies, and they must take appropriate measures to protect themselves. Conducting regular security assessments, implementing strong password policies and multi-factor authentication, and keeping software and systems up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates are three strategies that food companies can use to safeguard themselves against cybersecurity hacks. By implementing these strategies, food companies can reduce the risk of a cyber attack and ensure that their valuable data is secure.
PrimaPerfect can help you set up your Information Security as well as Food Safety Management Systems. Please contact one of our friendly experts to get advice.