20 December 2018

Tech development in food production brings added risks

Technology is changing the food production industry. Smarter growing techniques, more efficient transportation and delivery and automation within factories and warehouses is bringing untold opportunities to the industry.

While food producers are rightly looking to technology to help boost their businesses, technology also brings risks that the food industry has never had to deal with.

technology risks in food production“In the last decade we have seen major advances in technology that are being used by the food production industry,” Stephen Elms, National Head – Food Production at Gallagher, said.

“We have seen, and continue to see, fully automated factories and smarter warehouses that allow producers to manage and ship their stock more efficiently. While these changes do have many positive benefits, they also bring up risks that the industry needs to bear in mind, such as cyber risk.”

Data breaches and cyber attacks are commonplace among businesses and while the food production industry may think that they are not a target that is not the case. The food industry has been called a “prime target” for cyber attack by a British expert and this risk will continue to grow as the industry utilises more automation and connected devices.

“It is not uncommon now for food producers to have large, Amazon-style warehouses that utilise automation and robotics,” Elms continued. “If a food producer like this did suffer a cyber attack it could cripple their business.”

For businesses looking to technology, cyber insurance is a must-have cover. . While policies may differ, cyber insurance usually allows for a team of experts to assist clients to limit the damage of a data breach, identify further areas of concern and help a business respond publically to an attack. A breach can also relate to automated infrastructure and control systems being taken control of and hackers taking control of the whole automation within the business.

As technology continues to develop, and food producers continue to utilise new systems, Elms said that working alongside a specialist broker is paramount to reducing risk and ensuring that a food production business is protected.

“A specialist insurance broker can help your business identify its risks both now and in the future,” Elms said.

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