SA: Expert warns that cyber threats to smart farming could threaten food security

There have been warnings of cyber threats to digital and smart farming that can pose potential risks to food security in Africa, and there are fears hackers could exploit flaws in agricultural software or hardware used to plant and harvest crops.

Kaspersky Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team expert Vladimir Dashchenko said: “Smart farm machinery is vulnerable to hackers, leaving supply chains across Africa and the rest of the world exposed to significant risk.”

Dashchenko said events during and following the global pandemic had highlighted the resultant impact if supply chains were disrupted.

“Agricultural cyber security should encompass the technologies, processes, and staff security awareness training that protect infrastructure and devices from cyber threats.”

The warnings come as farmers in the Western Cape embrace technology to help them gather information and data on all aspects of their farming operations, and smart technology is increasingly used to make agriculture more efficient.

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