Agritech companies assess IoT cyber threat risks

cyber security communications africaAgritech companies are concerned about the cyber security risks associated with IoT. (Photo: adobestock)The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to transform the agricultural sector, but it has left many agritech companies concerned by the cyber threats associated with the technology

According to independent research commissioned by Inmarsat, despite most agritech companies that are moving towards IoT, less than a quarter (23 per cent) feel that they can combat the security threats that IoT will bring.

Market research specialist Vanson Bourne spoke to respondents from 100 large agritech companies across the globe for its ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017’ report. The report found that although the majority of respondents had taken steps to address IoT security, with more tha 52 per cent investing in new security technologies to accommodate IoT, 45 per cent agreed that their processes to counter cyber attacks could be stronger.

The findings identified that networks and skill were two key areas in need of improvement. Agritech companies had given special consideration to network security in the development of their IoT solutions totalled to only 42 per cent, while more than 55 per cent reported that they needed further security skills.

“Agritechs are already proving a boon for farmers, deploying technologies like IoT to help them speed up the journey that food takes from ‘seed to bin’ and from ‘farm to fork’,  said, Chris Harry-Thomas, director of sector development agriculture, Inmarsat Enterprise.

"IoT technologies are being leveraged to automate irrigation and fertilisation systems on farms, to add new precision to operations and reduce waste, and to automate farming machinery, reducing the need for manual intervention. However, a more technology-dependent and connected farm is a more vulnerable one, without the necessary security protocols,” he added.


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