UPDATED 17:16 EDT / MAY 26 2023


Nature Fresh Farms’ journey to cyber resilience: Protecting data and innovating for the future

In an age where cyber threats loom large, Nature Fresh Farms Inc.’s encounter with a ransomware attack has become a transformative tale of resilience and preparedness.

Through the eyes of Keith Bradley (pictured), vice president of information technology and security at Nature Fresh Farms, theCUBE uncovered the pivotal lessons learned from the company’s journey.

The attack, which started with a single PC, took Nature Fresh Farms on a journey of discovery as it faced many challenges and learned about the proactive measures it needed to take to fortify the company’s cyber defenses. The process included fortifying the perimeter and optimizing backup and recovery processes, as well empowering its team and implementing a secure cyber vault.

“It wasn’t a PC that we were worried about,” Bradley spoke about the attack. “We didn’t think about things that way. We didn’t think security first. We didn’t think it needs to be protected.”

Bradley spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and Lisa Martin at Dell Technologies World, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Nature Fresh Farms was able to safeguard its assets and is cultivating a culture of cyber resiliency in an increasingly vulnerable digital landscape. (* Disclosure below.)

An unexpected ransomware attack

Nature Fresh Farms, a leading producer of tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers, has faced its fair share of challenges in its quest for cyber resiliency. Bradley shared insights into the organization’s journey to cyber resilience following the unexpected ransomware attack. The attack started with a simple open port that allowed hackers to gain access to the company’s systems via a lone PC. In the end, it was a wakeup call for the organization, highlighting the need to prioritize security.

“I say it’s a journey that we’re taking. Everybody talks about zero trust,” Bradley said. “Maybe zero trust isn’t exactly what we want, but there’s pieces of it that we’re gonna start taking out and moving towards there. Maybe it takes us three to five years to get there, and maybe by the five-year mark it’s actually changed a little bit. So, we’re still adjusting.”

Learning from the attack and restarting the journey

The attack led Nature Fresh Farms to reassess its mindset regarding security, Bradley admitted. The realization prompted the company to adopt a three-pronged approach: securing their environment, educating users and staying up to date with evolving threats.

To recover from the attack, Nature Fresh Farms relied on their backups and implemented multi-factor authentication to protect their critical data. The company also updated its firewall systems, added log monitoring and sought external experts’ assistance in analyzing their logs. In addition, they switched to a more efficient backup system, Dell PowerProtect, enabling quicker recovery times.

One of the significant milestones in the company’s journey was the creation of a cyber vault — a separate workflow that acts as an air gap to protect sensitive data, Bradley explained. The company continuously works to automate and analyze the data in the cyber vault, ensuring its integrity and safety.

“I think that we are stronger,” Bradley stated. “We want to position ourselves so we can recover and can recover quickly. Because, like we learned, it happened to us, it can happen again. The reality is we can never be perfect. So, we have to be prepared for that bad day again.”

Nature Fresh Farms’ experience serves as a reminder that every organization, regardless of industry, must prioritize cybersecurity to safeguard their data and operations. Through its journey, Nature Fresh Farms not only strengthened its own security measures, but also positioned itself as an industry leader in cyber resilience, constantly innovating to grow better produce and protect its employees and customers.

“It is just a reality. It’s not a matter of if it’s gonna happen,” Bradley said. “It’s always a matter of when. And I say just because we were hit doesn’t mean that we are now immune. It’s not an immunity that happens.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Dell Technologies World:

(* Disclosure: This is an unsponsored editorial segment. However, theCUBE is a paid media partner for Dell Technologies World. Dell Technologies Inc. and other sponsors of theCUBE’s event coverage have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One-click below supports our mission to provide free, deep and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy