According to HSBC, farming services fell victim to nearly £1.2 billion pound’s worth of cyber crime scams. The bank also noted that financial services providers had successfully stopped a further £1.66 billion in unauthorised fraud from occurring. However, the growing sophistication of online cyber crime and fraud opens up farm services to greater risk.
According to Farmers Weekly:
“HSBC’s head of agriculture Neil Wilson said the fraudsters often had some knowledge of farming and knew when to target businesses.
Attacks are usually timed when farm businesses are most likely to have money in their accounts, such as during the Basic Payment Scheme window.
This very real threat comes in many forms and can be devastating for those businesses and individuals that fall victim,” said Mr Wilson.
It might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking ‘it will never be me’, however, these fraudsters are professional. They just need to catch you at a busy moment, or when you are distracted, and they can achieve their goal very quickly.”
If you run a farm, agricultural business or farming-related organisation and want to know more about protecting your IT infrastructure from cybercrime, HSBC provide useful cyber security advice for small businesses through its Cyber Aware campaign – found here.