FBI Cyber and Nebraska Farm Bureau
FBI Cyber and Nebraska Farm Bureau partner together to protect American farmlands.
Gene Kowel: Hi, I'm Gene Kowel, special agent in charge of the FBI's Omaha Field Office.
Mark McHargue: And I'm Mark McHargue, president of Nebraska Farm Bureau and a fourth generation farmer.
Kowel: Over the past several years, Mark and I have built a very strong partnership. Would you agree?
McHargue: I would agree, Gene, and it couldn't come at it any more important time. Agriculture is a big business for our state. But not only agriculture, but the food sector that drives America.
Kowel: American technology and innovation has made our farms, our ranches, our food processing industry more productive and efficient than ever before. But it also makes us more vulnerable to cyber threats. And in today's digital world, cybercriminals are targeting Nebraska's food and agricultural sector more and more. During the fall 2021 harvest, ransomware actors hit six of our nation's grain cooperatives, and some of these co-ops had to halt production completely, which is exactly what these cyber actors wanted to hold our information hostage and to profit from our vulnerability.
McHargue: And that's why it's important to have a friend at the FBI and establish a cybersecurity risk plan and practice that often.
Kowel: That's right. It's imperative that we form strong lasting partnerships with all of you. Farmers, ranchers and industry workers of Nebraska to secure our nation's supply of food, seed, and biofuel.
McHargue: The FBI can be on your side before, during and after an incident happens.
Kowel: If there's one thing we want folks to take away, it's to give us a call.
McHargue: So develop a cybersecurity plan, because cyber risk is business risk.
Kowel: And cybersecurity is national security.
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