The Community Safety Knowledge Alliance (CSKA) today announced its involvement in a project that will contribute to enhancing cyber security in Canada’s agriculture sector. This project is funded by Public Safety Canada’s Cyber Security Cooperation Program, as part of its commitment to build a safe and resilient Canada. The work on the project will run from late 2020 to 2024.
Work completed in the project will strengthen the cyber security of Canada’s agricultural system in support of domestic food security; rural economic development and resilience; and national prosperity anchored to our international reputation for an agricultural supply chain that responsibly addresses global priorities related to food production, food quality, and environmental stewardship.
The rising wave of digital agriculture, including automation, big data and artificial intelligence, is revolutionizing how we produce food and how we distribute it. As the opportunities associated with connectivity and digital agriculture increases, so will the range and number of associated threat surfaces. These stem from: dependencies on multiple data streams with multiple points of connectivity; underdeveloped risk planning, human error or inattention; and a proliferation of threats involving different combinations of organizations.
As a result of this amplifying connectivity and inter-dependencies, the impacts of food supply disruptions can extend through the entire agricultural communities to provincial and national economies with potentially cascading costs reaching into billions of dollars and involving collateral damage to social stability.
The project will generate research and communication products that will contribute to the evolving cyber knowledge base and capacity building objectives for critical infrastructure protection in Canada.
This will be achieved through two related objectives involving a multi-year, phased, engagement of Canadian farm operators, levels of government, and the private sector:
- Assessing the cyber security capacity of the Canadian agricultural sector by identifying and characterizing threats to, and practices for promoting, cyber security among segments of farm operators through use cases from selected sub-sectors; and
- Engaging Canadian farm operators and other stakeholders in the development and dissemination of awareness building tools and resources related to the cyber security of farming operations.
This will involve:
- Working with provinces, territories, and the private sector to define requirements to protect critical digital infrastructure in the agriculture sector;
- Examining how Canada’s advanced cyber capabilities could be applied to defend critical domestic networks and deter cyber threat actors; and
- Contributing to cybersecurity capacity building within the farm sector.
For further information, please contact Shannon Fraser-Hansen, Community Safety Knowledge Alliance, Office: (306) 384-2751 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow this link to hear CSKA’s lead researcher, Dr. Janos Botschner, provide an overview of the project on Glacier Farm Media’s Between the Rows podcast hosted by Dave Bedard: