JBS Cyber Attack on the Food and Beverage Industry

Learn how food and beverage plants should protect, detect, and react to cyber attacks like the JBS cyber attack.

Just weeks after the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack halted operations for nearly a week, another U.S. supply chain was disrupted by a cybercrime incident. This time, hackers came for the food and beverage industry.

JBS Cyber Attack

JBS, one of the world’s largest meat processing companies, is the latest victim of a cyber attack. The malware attack affected IT servers supporting JBS’s operations in North America and Australia, but backup servers were not affected. They took immediate action, suspending all affected systems and notifying authorities. As a result, several of the company’s plants were forced to shutdown completely or partially for 2-3 days.

Cyber Attacks on the Food and Beverage Industry

Ransomware experts like Allan Liska claim there have been at least 40 food companies targeted by cyber attacks this year, according to an Associated Press article. The JBS cyber attack is the largest cyber attack on a food manufacturer to date. This incident should be a warning to everyone in the food and beverage industry. Former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Christopher Krebs told NBC’s Today show that “They went after your gas, they went after your hotdogs, no one is out of bounds here. Everyone is in play in every single corporation.”

What should manufacturers do to protect, detect, and react to cyber attacks like this one? A software like versiondog can help manufacturers in the food and beverage industry, as well as many others, save time and effort while securing their IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology) against cybersecurity risks.

What should food and beverage manufacturers do to protect against cyber attacks?

There is no fool-proof way to ensure 100% protection against a cyber attack, although strong firewalls and segmented networks are a start. Instead, manufacturers should focus on preparing properly as if their own plant was the next target. Have they identified all of their assets, risks, and vulnerabilities? Do they have recent backups for all of the devices in their plant? Could they tell if an unauthorized change was made? versiondog and its Asset Inventory Service Add-On can help manufacturers say “yes” to all of these questions. Another proactive approach is to use a honeypot scenario for cybersecurity. Learn more about using honeypots for cyber security here.

How can food and beverage manufacturers quickly detect cyber attacks?

Organizations can safeguard against unauthorized changes by using a change management software specifically designed for IT and OT devices. For example, versiondog compares the version running in your plant with the version stored on the server. If a change is detected, the appropriate users are immediately notified to take swift action to address the cybersecurity issue.

How should food and beverage plants react to cyber attacks like this one?

In many ways, JBS reacted the way that they were supposed to. They suspended affected systems, notified the authorities, and got to work restoring their operations using their available backups. Still, there is always room for improvement. By using a version control and automatic backup software like versiondog, JBS could have reacted faster and reduced the duration of downtime. Learn more about how versiondog helps companies react faster to cyber attacks here.

Learn more about versiondog

Don’t wait for downtime or disaster to strike. Let versiondog, a fast and reliable version control and automatic backup software, help you prepare for cyber attacks before they happen and react faster than ever if they do. Still have questions about versiondog? Contact us.

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