Join us on January 18th, 2024 at our upcoming workshop that will provide a platform to initiate this critical collaboration and set the course for a brighter, more secure future for agriculture in the United States and the world.
Cybersecurity for Smart Agriculture
Precision technologies and big data management are delivering enormous benefits to agricultural discovery, innovation and productivity. However, these critical advancements also expose the agricultural ecosystem to various forms of cyberattack that could jeopardize production, export, food safety and security and ultimately, national security.
Iowa State University proposes creating a national network of cybersecurity centers for smart agriculture. Iowa State would serve as the network hub for centers that would be placed at major universities with strong agricultural and cybersecurity programs in the Western, Great Plains, Northwest, Southern and Northeast Regions. The goal is to identify and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities in the food and agriculture value chain through three key focus areas:
Each center will deploy a convergent interdisciplinary research approach that brings together scientists in the agriculture disciplines with computer scientists and engineers focused on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity experts will work with agricultural scientists to assess cyber vulnerabilities in the entire food value and then develop secure IoT-based networks that can collect data, in real-time, for monitoring, analytics, and decision making. Solutions will not be solely technical; creating opportunities for effective communication and collaboration through governance, policy, data privacy and regulatory structures is also necessary. Each center will also have a strong social science component that will examine the ethical, legal, social, an economic dimensions of cybersecurity.
Education and Workforce Development
Aside from strengthening formal degree and course offerings, each center will develop curricula, online training modules, and other education materials to build and strengthen the cybersecurity workforce. In particular, the centers will develop an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program that will cater to students, industry professionals, and other stakeholders across the country.
Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement
Each Cybersecurity Center will serve companies, organizations, and other agriculture constituencies offering training sessions that will enhance cyberattack readiness, response, and recovery through attack defense simulation exercises. Outreach activities will include, but will not be limited to, hosting workshops and hands-on training sessions to assist companies, organizations, and farmer-groups to understand how people within and outside their environment access and use sensitive data to generate trust.