4 Farm Security Threats to Watch For

Apr 12, 2024 2 min read

Risk is an inherent part of the farming business — from weather to uncertain prices, as a farmer or rancher, it’s part of your job to manage risks. There are some security threats to your farm that might not be at the front of your mind. By watching for them, you can minimize your odds of theft or loss.

For example, more internet-connected and precision farming equipment may put you at an increased risk of cybercrime. You can improve the security on your farm and protect your business from loss by learning about these four unsuspecting threats and taking steps to reduce them.

1. Trespassing

From joggers to mushroom hunters to dogwalkers, it can be risky to have people on your farm who don’t belong there. They could unintentionally cause damage by trampling crops or damaging fences. 

What you can do: Posting highly visible “No Trespassing” signs makes it clear to people that this is your property. It’s also a good idea to make sure your fences and gates are not damaged or broken and that your gates are closed. These barriers send a signal to potential trespassers that they shouldn’t enter your property. Check your property borders regularly to make sure there aren’t obvious places where trespassers are entering. 

If you have an issue with a trespasser, call law enforcement. Don’t set traps or chase trespassers, since if you hurt them, you might be responsible for the injuries.

2. Theft

Farm supplies and equipment can be tempting targets for thieves. The relative isolation of many farms may make people think they can get away with stealing. Most thefts on a farm are thefts of fuel and high-dollar items such as tools, computers, safes, fertilizers and machines. 

What You Can Do:

  • Install security cameras in many locations around your farm or ranch. Be sure you cover the perimeter. 
  • Add floodlights or motion-sensor lights around your property to deter thieves.
  • Lock or secure all valuable items that might tempt intruders.
  • Use keyless ignition systems, especially if you’re tempted to leave keys in your equipment.
  • Add GPS tracking to your gear. That way, if something gets stolen, police can track it.
  • Learn how to mark tools to prevent theft. Add visible serial numbers to tools so thieves know they can be tracked.
  • Consider painting tools or equipment a bright color so they are easy to spot and identify as yours.
  • Keep a farm inventory list of all the items you have and their value. Periodically check on all your equipment and valuables to make sure nothing is missing.
  • If you have equipment you only use seasonally, remove the battery or add wheel locks to help deter theft.

3. Cybercrime

Agribusinesses are as susceptible to cyber security threats as any other business. If you notice any threats around data exposure and unauthorized access, take them seriously. 

What You Can Do:

  • Be on the lookout for things like phishing emails with links that can download malicious content onto your devices. 
  • Make sure that all of your devices have the most up-to-date security software.
  • Back up your data regularly.
  • If you have social media business pages, check all your settings to ensure your pages are secure. Lock down your admin accounts and securely manage your apps, comments, posts and abuse.

4. Precision Farm Technology Vulnerabilities

Technologies in precision agriculture rely on remote communication systems. Attacks on these systems can have the same purpose as other cybercrimes — the hope that a cybercriminal can access secure and private data. If breached, thieves could sell your data or disrupt the operation of your farm or ranch. 

What You Can Do: Keep your business operating system separate from your personal browsing, limit access to your technology with strong passwords and use a virtual private network (VPN) to access your technology remotely.

We Know Agriculture

When it comes to protecting your farm or ranch, no one understands your needs like we do. Whether you need coverage for your farm or ranch, your employees, your crops or your livestock, we are your one-stop shop. Our team is ready to ensure that your farm or ranch is properly secured and that you have the coverage you need.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.