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Farm groups queried on cybersecurity

Agriculture included as one of 10 sectors under potential threat

Agriculture Canada has sent a questionnaire to agri-food organizations about their cybersecurity protection measures as part of a federal plan to bolster protection for critical national communications infrastructure.

The agri-food and fisheries supply chain “is one of the 10 identified critical infrastructure sectors,” a letter explaining the questionnaire says. Among the groups asked to forward it to members were the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council, the Canadian Supply Chain Food Safety Coalition and the Canadian Animal Health Coalition.

It’s based on a National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure developed by Public Safety Canada with provincial and industry collaboration “to mitigate the full range of risks and threats facing vital assets and systems.”

In addition to obtaining the organizations’ background information, the government is also ensuring they’re aware of Public Safety Canada’s Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC). The letter said it assists critical infrastructure organizations, businesses and provincial/territorial/municipal governments in Canada to protect their cybersystems from compromise and acts as a point of contact to report cyber incidents.

The letter said threats to the organizations include “botnets, hacking attempts, malware intrusions, phishing, ransomware attacks, spam and viruses among others.”

It asks for details on any disruptions or attacks that have been encountered during the last two years.

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