Leading U.S.-based agricultural machinery producer AGCO (Your Agriculture Company) has suffered a ransomware attack, which has impacted some production facilities.

AGCO noted it is still investigating the extent of the attack and is anticipating that business operations will be affected for several days. AGCO, however, carefully noted their expectations with regard to resolving the issues are forward-looking statements, and actual results “could be materially different” due to several factors, including their ability to successfully reinstall software and restore IT operations at the affected sites, AGCO said.

Headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, USA, AGCO had net sales of $11.1 billion in 2021 and has 1,810 dealerships in North America. Amid the ransomware attack, Reuters has reported that dealers are struggling to keep up with backlogged orders due to supply chain constraints.

Ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure organizations have increased globally. Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned that ransomware actors are more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss and negatively impacting the food supply chain. In addition, between September 15 and October 6, 2021, six grain cooperatives experienced ransomware attacks, the FBI said.

A significant disruption of grain production could impact the entire food supply chain, commodities trading and stocks and have cascading effects down to the farm level.

In a ransomware attack or other security incident that results in network downtime, organizations must be prepared with proper backup and recovery efforts, says Craig McDonald, Vice President of Product Management at BackBox. A solid backup and disaster recovery plan must include: 

  • collecting a complete inventory of all applications, software and hardware
  • outlining specific individual responsibilities in the event of a disaster and ensuring those individuals understand their responsibilities
  • having alternative communication methods in place
  • carrying out regular reviews of this plan as a whole.

“Scheduling regular backups, as well as knowing exactly what is being backed up and when, are key components to ensuring overall business continuity in the case of downtime,” Craig adds. “Companies that prioritize best practices for backup and unplanned network downtime will radically decrease time spent offline.”