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Cyber Wardens program releases cyber security guide for agricultural sector

Farmers may think cyber security is not their concern, yet cyber attacks on the agricultural industry do occur – but they can be stopped.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 06 May 2024
Cyber Wardens program releases cyber security guide for agricultural sector
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Tasmania played host to Agfest in the Paddock over the weekend, an event that brings hundreds of businesses in the agricultural sector together to show their wares – and the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia’s (COSBOA) Cyber Wardens program was in attendance.

Representatives of the Cyber Wardens program took the event as an opportunity to remind farmers and other agribusinesses that cyber security matters to everyone, including people who work the land.

To that end, the Cyber Wardens program produced a cyber security guide aimed at the agricultural sector and distributed it at the event.


COSBOA chief executive Luke Achterstraat said every agribusiness in Australia needs to pay attention to cyber security.

“Regional and rural small businesses are the backbones of many communities in Australia. Cyber risk is pervasive and doesn’t discriminate based on a business’s postcode,” Achterstraat said in a statement.

“Small businesses must remain aware of the increasingly acute risk of cyber attacks. COSBOA’s Cyber Wardens program can help give small-business owners the skills to mitigate the risks.

“Investing in cyber security training and tools is essential to help protect your small business, staff and clients. With Cyber Wardens, we’ve made that training free and easy for small businesses.”

Gabi Ceregra, data policy manager for the National Farmers Federation, said in the guide that all farmers need to be thinking about data security.

“As we become more reliant on digital technology, we also become more vulnerable if that data is misused. That could be in the form of a cyber attack, but also by not understanding the business model of the platform you’re using and how they’ll share and commercialise your data,” Ceregra said.

Mushroom farmer Dean Smith, who attended the Agfest event, had assumed that only larger businesses need to worry about cyber attacks. He now thinks very differently after attending a cyber security course run by Cyber Wardens.

“I guess I was a bit naive about the whole thing because I’m not that tech savvy and I don’t have a lot of time to keep an eye on it,” Smith said.

“I think a lot of people would be like me: either they’re not too confident, don’t have the time, or find it a bit daunting.

“But, it’s not that hard, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to put a few things in play that will protect your business.’’

You can read more about cyber security for agricultural organisations and the small business cyber security guide for agriculture here.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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