Wake-up Call for Food Companies Focuses on Cyber Security

Silhouettes of people with high tech imagery in background
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A new article in Food Safety Magazine by a Senior Fellow at the Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI), a Consortium member, outlines a worrisome gap in protecting global food #supplychains. John T. Hoffman, a retired military officer, describes significant changes in the food and beverage industry, noting "the food industry has evolved from a manual, hands-on and labor-intensive manufacturing profile to a largely automated environment that exploits a variety of information technologies and industrial controls." However, Hoffman cautions that unlike the financial, insurance, and regulatory sectors, "food sector clients, in which there are substantial investment in terms of money, accountability and rules compliance, have not been required to implement similar [IT] standards." This raises the specter of bad actors using IT systems to attack the food supply, with potentially catastrophic consequences for public health and the economy. FPDI's research and education program is aimed at reducing the potential for contamination at any point along the food supply chain; they collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security to reduce the vulnerability of the nation's food system. To learn more, click here.