Every food plant is vulnerable to security threats, and some potential threats are far simpler than you might imagine. Quick example: if someone can hack into your facility and turn off the lights, that action will shut down your operation.
Of course, there are far more sinister things that a bad player could do to wreak havoc at one or more of your facilities. The slightest suggestion that you have produced and distributed food that is not safe for consumption, well, that could cost you millions in lost revenues.
I’m not writing these words to scare you or sell you anything.
My intention is to increase the attention our industry pays to such threats, because they are rising across our entire society. This isn’t just an industry challenge; it is a global challenge. The organizations that recognize this fact will be much more likely to thrive in the years ahead.
To cite one last simple example, I live in Florida where there is a village one hour away from us in which the residents can’t move back into their homes because the local sewage treatment facility remains shut down. To cripple your plant, an attacker might never even test your systems; instead, they could simply attack an external system (i.e. local water, power or water treatment facilities) and in doing so force your plant to shut down.
Please be wary, and plan ahead.