The NFU has partnered with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to produce an online booklet to support farmers in preventing and reporting cybercrime.
Cyber security can often appear to be a complex daunting subject, but prevention plays an important role in tackling the crime. The NFU hopes this booklet - Cyber security for farmers: Practical tips on how to stay safe - will provide farmers with practical step by step guidance which can easily be implemented to build towards better resilience against cyber criminals and reduce the chances of being a target.
The NFU is urging members to read the booklet and be vigilant of fraud and cyber attacks, particularly as we are in the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment window. This is a particularly vulnerable time of the year where farmers should be careful of any suspicious calls, texts or emails.
Stuart Roberts, NFU Deputy President said:
“Rural crime is a huge issue for farm businesses and we rightly look to protect our farm buildings, machinery and our livestock. However, we all live and work in a digital world and we must be conscious of the threats this can bring to our businesses.
“It’s incredibly important that farmers take this seriously, which is why we’ve teamed up with the experts in the National Cyber Security Centre to help produce this guidance. I would urge all farmers to read this advice and take the necessary steps to reinforce their cyber security and protect their farm business.”
Cyber-attacks are on the rise, they can be financially devastating, disrupting and upsetting to individuals and businesses. Cyber criminals aim to exploit human or security vulnerabilities in order to steal passwords, data or money directly, and the agricultural sector is no exception.
Almost half (46%) of businesses identified cyber security breaches or attacks in the past 12 months. This criminal trend is an ongoing threat to businesses of all natures and sizes, it is not just the larger organisations who need to invest in cyber security.
Ways to report crime:
- Report suspicious emails to NCSC’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service, SERS, at cmVwb3J0QHBoaXNoaW5nLmdvdi51aw==
- Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726 – it’s free of charge
- Report fraud to Action fraud: using their fraud reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.
- Or report anonymously to Crimestoppers or call 0800 555 111
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