Food Production is Critical Infrastructure

Tech 1 (718A) October 5, 2022 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Feedback     

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Seth Hardy

Security researchers love talking about critical infrastructure. Power grids and pipelines! Transportation systems and communication networks! IoT and ICS! Medical devices and smart cities! Why aren’t people talking about food production? You all like to eat, right?

Agriculture 4.0 is a few years old at this point. Smart farms and precision agriculture are becoming much more common. Autonomous tractors are old news. Drones herd cattle, computer vision tells you how aggressive your pigs are, robots are farming crickets right here in Ontario.

In this talk we’ll look at a number of security issues with the “cutting-edge” technology used for food production, and ways those issues can be mitigated and prevented in practice.

Let’s start thinking about farms similarly to how we think about power grids. Food scarcity is a threat that can (and likely will) be weaponized, especially as we increasingly rely on connected systems to meet our needs.