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IoT cybersecurity: A major concern for agriculture

During the few last years, people have been creating complex connected machines. The whole network of IoT reveals incredible opportunities, but at the same time, we have been informed about negligence in IoT cybersecurity.

New technology = new IoT cybersecurity

Whenever you adopt new technology, it brings with it an excuse for exploiting a new field. In many cases, our behavior generates misunderstandings and data losses. An experienced hacker with sufficient investment will always find a weak spot. Collected data contain a means of information that is a treasure for cybercriminals. We have to confess that cyberattacks still appear. If we can admit that IoT devices can be vulnerable, we can make a significant step forward.

In agriculture, the application of smart farming activates technology. The concept of precision farming is comparatively new. Its primary goal is to make cultivation correctly. Farmers know everything about risk management, crop growth, seed increase, climate and planning cycles. Though, the security topics never bothered anyone. And in many cases, there was no protection for the collected data.

There are different threats to consider in precision farming — access to services, personal privacy fields, restrictive information and intellectual property. Even if the raw data is not robust on its own, it can be used to correlate information from other sources. It can be possible to identify potential volumes, affect accuracy expectations or create logistics disruption.

Massive integration of insecure IoT devices

The farming industry has started undertaking the transformation from paper to digital records. Nowadays, farmers integrate sensors and devices in almost any process, but IoT cybersecurity issues are not their primary interest. Unfortunately, they are not concerned that adding such technology can be hazardous and it can put people’s lives at risk.

Device cost and functionality are the main factors for every farmer. As long as the machine works, the farmer is pleased, and the manufacturer is fine, too. However, no one within this chain takes security thoughtfully. Growers buy monitors or thermostats without any IoT cybersecurity protection or update possibilities available. Usually, communities replace these devices less frequently, often after 10 years or more. So we can certainly say that these devices are vulnerable. As a result, the agriculture industry has recently become a target for many cyberattacks.

Conclusion

In any new sphere, we will have highly skilled people with the motivation to exploit for personal profit, or just for fun. Nevertheless, technological progress has never stopped. And the next steps in the agricultural evolution are inevitable. IoT devices will bring a number of opportunities to agriculture. An advanced farming system can provide more precise care for crops, and it can produce a big difference in hunger matters. But it is essential to ensure that there will be IoT cybersecurity protection. Each piece of connected farming equipment needs to pass a certification process, such as those gone through by potentially dangerous devices such as cars or medical devices. This certification will help to stop privacy violations and impediments of contracts, and ensure the integrity of network-dependent farming devices.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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