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INCREASING Cyber Security Awareness

The threat of cyber-attacks to the agri-food sector is significant and growing according to DEFRA’s UK Food Security Report 2021. The report highlighted ransomware and phishing attacks as specific risks.

As a leader in the food supply chain, ABP has a strategic focus to protect itself against cyber threats.

Employing over 4,000 people in four divisions across nine countries, ABP’s teams have varying levels of knowledge around cyber threats.

ABP saw the need to raise security awareness within the entire company and reach a consistent level of employee competence. A formal education program was required to implement training and measure progress.

The business must be able to identify cyber threats and react swiftly to any potential breach.

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Most cyber attacks begin with a “spear-phishing” email, according to research from Trend Micro

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Ransom paid by US-based meatpacker JBS after a cyber breach suspended all operations for ten days in June 2021

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Damage from global ransomware attacks in 2021 was 57 times higher than in 2015 – and expected to be $265bn by 2031

security training


Certain security requirements are common to the whole company (such as compliance to GDPR data privacy legislation), but ABP needed its four divisions to brand and tailor the awareness training for their specific needs.

As it continues to grow, ABP regularly acquires additional food producers and new employees must be incorporated in the awareness program quickly and effectively.

As employee awareness is only one aspect of cyber protection, the program needed to be managed as part of ABP’s overall cyber security strategy.


CSI designed a cyber defence program that allows ABP to implement security awareness, phishing simulation and threat detection to deliver maximum protection against email compromise and ransomware.

A three-year engagement includes the Cofense cloud-native phishing detection and response platform managed by CSI’s Security Operations Centre (SOC).

Each year, four training modules are administered together with testing and reporting. Phishing simulations are executed annually to measure the effectiveness of the program.

Each ABP division is able to brand its own program, choosing from over 20 different training modules to customise the content for its particular conditions. This results in a realistic environment for training, testing and simulated attacks.

food safety

CSI helped us significantly improve our cyber defences with targeted training and simulations. We’ve been able to show the connection between increased awareness and protection from real threats.

John Armstrong, IT Director – ABP Food Group


CSI successfully implemented the cyber awareness program across all ABP divisions with strategic partner Cofense. Training modules have been rolled out to all employees and simulations planned to verify the impact.

Since the CSI cyber awareness program has been introduced, ABP has acquired four new food producers and all new employees have been inducted into the program.

CSI is supporting ABP to expand its cyber defences with a Managed Detection and Response solution together with Alert Logic. The MDR service provides rapid response to threats and is managed by the CSI SOC on a 24×7 basis.

food production

About our client

ABP food group logo

ABP Food Group (ABP) works with a network of over 45,000 farmers and contributes an estimated €1.3bn each year into rural economies.

With over 60 years’ experience, ABP supports all levels of the food service industry – from fast food outlets to Michelin-starred restaurants.

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