Learn about cyber threats and software at Cultivate’18

Last week, Greg Lafferty and I put finishing touches on his presentation for Cultivate’18, “3 Cyber Threats That Will Destroy Your Business” (Monday, July 16, 2:30-2:50 p.m., Knowledge Center). While we were working, Greg mentioned his friend, a cyber security expert, asked why we were doing this presentation. This isn’t Practical Software Solutions’ area of expertise.

The answer was simple: We may not be able to fix cyber attacks, but we can warn the horticulture industry about cyber threats that can cripple or destroy an operation. And by going to the experts, we can make sure we’re relaying the best, most up-to-date answers to growers in this session at Cultivate’18.

Over the years, Practical has helped hundreds of companies in various industries with their business systems. In those 25 years, we’ve seen companies have every square inch of their internet and intranet on lockdown to prevent cyber attacks. Conversely, we’ve seen companies not take it as seriously, which is like putting a welcome mat out for cyber threats.

Cyber threats

Cyber threats are a grave threat to anyone who uses a computer, which includes most of the horticulture industry.

As the world is becoming more and more connected, cyber threats are becoming a greater concern. Some of the numbers we came across are staggering, including the amount of financial damage cyber threats are causing and are projected to cause in the near future.

We all know about the cyber attacks on Equifax, Target and the Department of Defense, among other headline-grabbing breaches. But don’t think because your operation isn’t as large as these victims that you’re in the clear.

First of all, Target is a big-box retailer. How many greenhouse growers that sell to big-box retailers connect to them via EDI? That’s a point of connection that has the possibility for cyber threats to be passed down to your operation.

While the big-boys in cyber crime may go after the top dogs, smaller cyber criminals will go after the low-hanging fruit of smaller companies. This we can confirm, as we’ve seen this happen close to home and with our own eyes. You can see these examples in the presentation at Cultivate’18.

That’s the most important thing we want to impart to the presentation’s attendees: This could happen to you, whether you’re a grower, a supplier or any business in the horticulture industry that uses a computer. And there are ways you can help to protect your business against these cyber threats. We hope you’ll join us for this important session on Monday.

Cyber Threats isn’t the only presentation topic for technology at Cultivate’18

Just like last year, Practical Software Solutions is participating in more than one educational session during Cultivate’18. This time, we’re joining several other software providers in the horticulture industry to reprise a session we did at the Production Technology Conference in October.

This time around, the session is called “Production Software Providers: The Solutions Growers Have Been Looking For” (Sunday, July 15, 4-5 p.m., Union Station B). But just like last time, some of the software vendors in the horticulture industry appear on the panel to talk about what’s available and how to choose the right vendor. We had a good time working with the other vendors in October and we’re happy to bring this panel to a larger audience at Cultivate’18.

It’s easy to compare solid objects (pots, trays, carts, baskets, etc.) by look, feel and specs. High-powered business software is much more complicated. None of the vendors in the industry have their software in a box that you can read the specs off the back. It’s not like they’re available on a shelf in Staples either.

So having a panel where the different vendors can compare and contrast their products, their companies and their methods can help growers learn not only about the different products, but also about what goes into choosing an important tool for your business.

Whether it’s learning about cyber threats or about software itself, we hope you’ll check out these sessions during Cultivate’18. If you can’t make these sessions, we hope you’ll stop by Booth 3609 to learn more.

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