Requirements for cybersecurity in agricultural communication networks

Jussi Nikander*, Onni Manninen, Mikko Laajalahti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

88 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Agricultural cybersecurity is a rising concern because farming is becoming ever more reliant on computers and Internet access. During the last few years, the agrotechnology community, public sector, and researchers have been alerted to the problem and a significant amount of research has focused on the issue. However, the majority of the existing work focuses on external threats or specific parts of the farm technology ecosystem. This work examines the cybersecurity capabilities of individual farms and focuses on the farm local area network; the network and connected devices of six dairy farms in Finland are examined in detail. In addition, the farmers were interviewed in order to ascertain their opinions and understanding of agricultural cybersecurity. The results of the reviews were mixed. The physical cabling, for example, was all in good condition and followed appropriate regulations. On the other hand, network topology, malware protection, and system backups were not handled appropriately. Surveillance cameras typically did not work as expected. Often, the farmers did not know the network topology, the connected devices, or the details of individual devices in the network. In summary, the cybersecurity on the farms reviewed in this work was not handled optimally and significant improvements would be needed in order to secure the reviewed systems. However, since the approach of this work is qualitative in nature, care must be taken when generalizing the results. In conclusion, there is a significant need for improvements in agricultural cybersecurity on the level of individual farms. Many of the threats faced by farms are caused by their own activity or the physical environment and thus, emphasis must be put on improving their own situations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105776
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Volume179
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Agricultural cybersecurity
  • Agrotechnology
  • Farmer skills
  • Information security
  • Internet
  • Network

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Requirements for cybersecurity in agricultural communication networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this