By Bree Rody
A new initiative by the Canadian government will help create enhanced cybersecurity in agriculture.
In late March, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, announced funding of $500,000 over four years to the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance for their Cyber Security Capacity in Canadian Agriculture project. The funding was made available through a broader Cyber Security Cooperation Program. The program, launched in 2019, has $10.3 million available in funding over five years, with $4.2 million available between 2021 and 2024.
“Canadian agriculture is a critical and increasingly interconnected service, and it is a key part of our economy, trade, and food supply,” Blair said in a statement. “This funding to the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance for their Cyber Security Capacity in Canadian Agriculture project will help foster collaboration and protect cyber systems from compromise.”
The project aims to enhance the critical infrastructure within the agriculture industry in Canada. It will assess the current cybersecurity capacity of the sector, engaging with farmers, owners and operators along the way, as well as other stakeholders, to promote awareness and develop resources related to cybersecurity in the industry.
Cal Corley, CEO of the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance, added that there are “rapidly evolving” cyber threats within Canada’s ag sector, and those threats are “outpacing the abilities of many farms and other agricultural operations to adapt and respond.” The initiative, Corley said, will help close some of those critical gaps.