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Lawmakers Propose Measure to Protect US Food Supply From Cyberattacks

Farming sector


Lawmakers Propose Measure to Protect US Food Supply From Cyberattacks

A new bill introduced by House and Senate lawmakers would compel the agriculture secretary to conduct biennial studies on cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in the food and agriculture industries.

Reps. Brad Finstad and Elissa Slotkin and Sens. Tom Cotton and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act on Thursday in light of a 2021 ransomware attack that disrupted meat availability, CyberScoop reported.

In a statement, Finstad said the bill would improve the government’s understanding of the U.S. food supply‘s vulnerability to cyberattacks and aid prevention efforts.

The bill would also task the agriculture, homeland security and health and human services secretaries to work with the director of national intelligence to organize an annual cross-sector exercise on handling food-related cyber incidents. Such an activity is intended to drive information-sharing between stakeholders and shed light on industry and government preparedness.

Trade groups such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have expressed support for the legislation.

News of the bill comes after similar efforts in Congress to increase the cybersecurity of water systems.

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Category: Cybersecurity

Tags: CyberScoop cybersecurity Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act farming industry food supply supply chain US Department of Agriculture