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Guest Blog: Is your Agriculture Data Secure?

The question is not will my data be safe tomorrow, rather it’s is it safe today? When considering “the cloud”, sharing and reporting information and using electronic data systems for farming operations this is where the conversation begins.

If you Google “Information Security” you’ll find political, social, technological and ideological discussions opinions and solutions; but what does Information Security really mean to Agriculture? In my world, it means accessibility only to approved stakeholders at the time, place and in the manner of my choosing.

It means being independent and not relying on a third-party to access, retain or share my information as I wish.

Information Security means that, regardless of my technical aptitude (or ineptness), I am in control of my information and I can empower others to leverage it to my benefit without the risk of losing control or being taken advantage of.

As the food industry explores the various roles involved in Farming and Agriculture Data Management and they tackle privacy, data security and intellectual property issues, I expect that debates and conversations will form, opinions and policies will evolve and people will connect in new ways. I envision that with this collaboration, new innovations will be born and solutions that we’ve never considered will emerge to serve the social principals of information security as they’ve evolved. This conversation will continue to grow for some time. As the food producers, processors and the market galvanize, information exchanges will be conceived and put to practice. It’s probable that many applications will be envisioned, several will be implemented and a few will deliver tangible value. It is this exploration and curiosity that will drive innovation and it is this collaboration that will form a new breed of symbiotic partnerships.

When speaking with new and prospective clients; I’m amazed at how briefly Security exists in the conversation. Is it their focus on value and the end solution? Is it a lack of understanding with security? Or, is it that much of our business is developed from rich personal relationships and referrals (like the Grower/Fieldman relationship)? Maybe it’s a little of all, however, should this discussion take a back seat any longer.

Excuse the redundancy; but to restate from above:

We believe our Clients have a right to clear and concise data privacy and security policies. We consider it our duty to educate and be a resource not only our customers but an industry as a whole. Let’s have the conversation about Security and Privacy. Let’s make sure we’re sure about the expectations of our customers, vendors, partners and stakeholders; before it’s too late.

Do you know someone in your organization who’s floating around with sensitive customer data on a laptop? Is moving the data to the cloud where it can be restricted and monitored more secure? What do you think?

This post was contributed by Drew Zabrocki, the Managing Director and Product Manager of ApRecs. ApRecs provides simple to use, food safety record keeping solutions so that Growers can focus on growing; Packers can ship to market quickly, and Marketers can be reassured of a compliant product. Their solutions include an online website, mobile apps and paper forms that make it easy to track spray records, applicators, and equipment and location maps in a simple and secure manner. The growers control who sees what information and when.

Drew Zabrocki, ApRecs

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