Increasing cybersecurity threats against the U.S. agriculture industry as indicated by the ransomware attack against JBS Foods two years ago have prompted Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D., to introduce a pair of new bills aimed at bolstering the sector's cybersecurity posture, which have already been unveiled in the House, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.
Agricultural producers would be given assistance by a new National Telecommunications and Information Administration hub in strengthening their systems' defenses against hacking incidents under the Food and Agriculture Industry Cybersecurity Support Act, while the Agriculture Department's program for evaluating water systems' digital security would be expanded under the Cybersecurity for Rural Water Systems Act.
"My bipartisan bills will provide rural water systems, farmers, and ranchers with necessary resources to fend off cyber criminals trying to hack into the technology that supports our food and water supply," said Cortez Masto.
Aside from healthcare and education, agriculture has been cited by Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Tech Anne Neuberger as one of the key sectors being prioritized for cyber improvements.
An ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware attack against major U.S. healthcare revenue and payment cycle management provider Change Healthcare has been dubbed the "most serious" cyber incident against any U.S. health organization.