A review on security of smart farming and precision agriculture: Security aspects, attacks, threats and countermeasures

Abbas Yazdinejad, Behrouz Zolfaghari, Amin Azmoodeh, Ali Dehghantanha*, Hadis Karimipour, Evan Fraser, Arthur G. Green, Conor Russell, Emily Duncan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, Smart Farming (SF) and Precision Agriculture (PA) have attracted attention from both the agriculture industry as well as the research community. Altogether, SF and PA aim to help farmers use inputs (such as fertilizers and pesticides) more efficiently through using Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but in doing so, they create new security threats that can defeat this purpose in the absence of adequate awareness and proper countermeasures. A survey on different security-related challenges is required to raise awareness and pave they way for further research in this area. In this paper, we first itemize the security aspects of SF and PA. Next, we review the types of cyber attacks that can violate each of these aspects. Accordingly, we present a taxonomy on cyber-threats to SF and PA on the basis of their relations to different stages of Cyber-Kill Chain (CKC). Among cyber-threats, we choose Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) for further study. Finally, we studied related risk mitigation strategies and countermeasure, and developed a future road map for further study in this area. This paper’s main contribution is a categorization of security threats within the SF/PA areas and provide a taxonomy of security threats for SF environments so that we may detect the behavior of APT attacks and any other security threat in SF and PA environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7518
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 2
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced persistent threats
  • Cyber-kill chain
  • Cyber-threats
  • Precision agriculture
  • Security threats
  • Smart farming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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