Addressing cybersecurity threats: safeguarding food and ag sectors together

January 31, 2024
1 min read

TLDR:
Companion bills addressing cybersecurity threats in the food and agriculture sectors have been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The bills, known as the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act, aim to identify vulnerabilities and improve protective measures against cyber threats. The legislation would require the US Department of Agriculture to conduct a study of cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities every two years and submit a report to Congress. Additionally, a cross-sector simulation exercise would be conducted for food-related cyber disruptions. The bills have received support from various industry associations and organizations.

The bipartisan bill, known as the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act, was introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The bill would identify vulnerabilities and improve protective measures of both the government and private groups against cyber threats. Specifically, it would direct the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct a study of cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in the food and agriculture sectors every two years and submit a report to Congress. Additionally, the USDA would work with the Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and National Intelligence to conduct a cross-sector simulation exercise for food-related cyber disruptions. The Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act’s sister bill, the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act, would likewise require the USDA to lead a cybersecurity threat study every two years and a simulation exercise.

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