Cyberattacks have made an impact on the U.S. food industry, which has led to shortages and disruptions in production and availability of certain products such as cheese slices and cream cheese. Appropriately enough, these disruptions seem to mirror the severity of the cyberattack; for example, Schreiber Foods, which was hacked weeks ago and is yet to return to normal production levels, is one of America’s largest producers of cream cheese and provides it to businesses all over the country. While there doesn’t seem to be a way to protect ourselves from these types of attacks just yet, we can only hope that our politicians prioritize cybersecurity so that we aren’t faced with any more dire threats than this one! For now, though–try to stock up on your cream cheese faves while you still can!
This shortage of cream cheese is definitely causing some havoc among bagel shops and bakeries, but it’s important to remember that this disruption doesn’t just stem from a lack of the product itself–it’s also due to a cyberattack on the biggest U.S. cheese manufacturer. Schreiber Foods, the cheese company that makes slices for most of America’s top burger chains and competes with Kraft’s cream-cheese business in sales volume closed down for a few days last October after hackers compromised their plants. Though it may not seem like much time at first glance given how big this operation is (they produce enough food every day), Schriebers’ closure had significant impacts on both domestic markets as well as export opportunities due to its proximity across state lines from Illinois all way into Michigan where one can find many grocery stores stocking up before winter sets fully upon us
So, the next time you find yourself struggling to find your favorite cream cheese product in your local store, remember that the shortage might not be just due to a bad batch or an increased demand–cyberattacks are real and they’re happening more and more frequently. Let’s just hope that our politicians take note and do something about it before it’s too late! In the meantime, stock up on your cream cheese while you still can!
How cyberattacks have affected food production and availability across the country?
1. Food producers’ ability to track ingredients from suppliers down to individual cows is increasingly under threat as industrial control systems become more interconnected.
2. Hackers have been able to access food production systems and disrupt operations, as seen with the attack on Schreiber Foods.
3. “Because many U.S. water utilities lack paper-record backups, if hackers were to disrupt their computerized pump controls or corrupt data on servers that oversee filtration systems or reservoirs, it could result in major physical damage to infrastructure—or even fatalities, if a desperate local government decided to switch to manual valves or reservoirs. Such an attack would not simply affect the utility’s customers but also could create havoc throughout the region.”
4. “The more dependent on computerized systems we become, the greater the scope of potential damage from cyberattacks.”
5. Cybersecurity has come up in most aspects of national security discussions with politicians—but few have made it a priority.
6. A U.S.-led push for international cyber peace keeping collapsed last year after China and Russia objected; members instead agreed to stop supporting cyber espionage against each other’s economic interests , though who is keeping track of that isn’t clear.
7. America’s food is deemed generally strong (compared to other sectors), but the vulnerability of the food system to cyberattack has become more apparent in recent years.
So, what can be done to protect our food? Unfortunately, not much. The article ends on a pessimistic note, saying that “the more dependent on computerized systems we become, the greater the scope of potential damage from cyberattacks.” However, it is important to be aware of these risks and take steps to protect ourselves and our food supply as best we can. Cybersecurity should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind—politicians, citizens, and business owners alike. Let’s hope that we can find a solution before it’s too late.
Thank you for your attention! I hope this information was helpful