Jun 26, 2023 | Blog Posts

Our food supply is vulnerable

I announced new bipartisan legislation today to protect our nation’s food supply against cyberattacks by Russia, China, and other nefarious actors:

Our food supply is vulnerablev

It just takes one cyber-attack to cripple our food supply. These attacks happen. They also jeopardize jobs and increase costs for families. 

Recent cyberattacks have shut down food processing plants, targeted grain cooperatives during harvest, and put our food supply at risk. Some recent examples: 

  • In 2021, a meat packer was forced to shut down production at 13 facilities, including one in Ottumwa, due to a cybersecurity attack. The company was forced to pay an $11 million ransom to Russian hackers to resume operations.
  • In that same year, a second ransomware attack targeted an Iowa grain cooperative in Fort Dodge during the middle of harvest. 

Bottom line: We’re vulnerable to our foreign adversaries and this bill works to stop these attacks.

The Cybersecurity in Agriculture Act will utilize resources at our nation’s leading agriculture education institutions, like Iowa State University, to help better protect the agriculture industry against nefarious actors. 

I hosted a roundtable with experts at Iowa State today to discuss these issues at length:

Our food supply is vulnerable


Specifically, this bill creates a national cybersecurity network to identify and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities within the food and agriculture industry. The network will be made up of five Regional Agriculture Cybersecurity Centers with three main objectives: 

  1. Conduct research on cybersecurity systems 
  2. Develop a security operations center for the agriculture sector to analyze cybersecurity threats 
  3. Develop cybersecurity technologies and tools for the agricultural sector 

Go further here ⬇️

Our food supply is vulnerable