U.S – In a significant development for the protection of U.S. agriculture and food from cyber threats, the Food and Agriculture special interest group (SIG) of the Information Technology-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC) has established the Food and Ag-ISAC. 

This new platform aims to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration between the agrifood and security sectors.

Recognizing the need to address a longstanding void in the industry, the Food and Ag-ISAC fills the gap left since the closure of the previous food sector ISAC in 2008 due to underutilization.

Cybersecurity experts from Auburn University, in collaboration with the IT-ISAC Food and Agriculture SIG, emphasized the importance of establishing an ISAC specifically tailored to the agrifood sector, given the increasing prevalence of security threats.

The establishment of the Food and Ag-ISAC also follows a high-profile cyber-attack in 2021, when JBS, a major meat processing company, fell victim to ransomware. This incident underscored the vulnerability of the agrifood sector and the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

Since its formation in 2000, the IT-ISAC has been dedicated to fostering collaboration among companies leveraging IT and sharing cyber threat information.

As an officially recognized forum by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the IT Sector Coordinating Council, the IT-ISAC has played a vital role in strengthening cybersecurity practices across various industries.

The Food and Ag-ISAC builds upon this foundation by specifically catering to the unique challenges faced by the agrifood sector. It offers curated cyber threat analysis, an intelligence management platform, and a platform for engagement with industry experts.

By bringing together key stakeholders, the Food and Ag-ISAC aims to enhance the overall cybersecurity posture of the agrifood industry.

This collaborative initiative reflects the commitment of the agrifood and security sectors to safeguarding the integrity and resilience of the nation’s agriculture and food supply chain in the face of evolving cyber threats.

The Food and Ag-ISAC aims to promote proactive cybersecurity measures, incident response coordination, and best practices sharing within the agrifood sector.

Its establishment aligns with the growing recognition of the interdependencies between the digital landscape and the agrifood industry, highlighting the need for robust cybersecurity strategies.

The Food and Ag-ISAC encourages participation from various stakeholders, including companies involved in farming, food production, processing, distribution, and related technology providers.

With the increasing digitization and interconnectedness of the agrifood sector, it serves as a vital platform for staying informed about emerging threats and adopting effective cybersecurity measures.

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