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Shielding Agriculture from Cyber Attacks

Two senators introduced legislation intended to boost the agricultural industry’s resilience against cyber attacks. The bipartisan measure from Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is backed by a number of agricultural groups. If passed, the bill would shield America’s supply chain from technological attacks.

“America’s adversaries are looking for any advantage they can use against us, including targeting critical industries like agriculture,” Cotton says. The bill would require the USDA to conduct a twice-yearly study on cybersecurity threats to the agriculture industry.

Courthouse News Service says the review would include analyzing existing threats, the potential impacts of a cyberattack on the safety and availability of food products, and the government’s ability to respond to an attack. USDA would also have to conduct an interagency “cross-sector crisis simulation exercise that mocks up a food-related national emergency. These exercises would help identify gaps in the government’s readiness to respond to such emergencies.

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