PORTLAND, OREGON, US — Columbia Grain International Inc. sent a letter to impacted individuals, notifying them of a data breach that occurred on March 21.

In the letter, the company said there is no evidence to suggest that any information was fraudulently misused. Out of an abundance of caution, Columbia Grain provided information about the incident to those impacted.

An official with Columbia Grain told World Grain the company had no comment on this topic.

The company said on or around March 21 it experienced a network intrusion that affected a limited number of systems. Columbia Grain immediately took steps to secure its network and engaged a third-party firm to investigate the incident.

After the investigation, Columbia Grain discovered a limited amount of information may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. The information may have included first and last name and other information.

“Columbia Grain has taken steps to address the incident and is committed to protecting information in its care,” it said in the letter. “Upon learning of this incident, Columbia Grain immediately took steps to secure its systems and to enhance the security of its network.”

Columbia Grain also is providing identity monitoring through Kroll for one year at no cost to those impacted. The monitoring services include credit monitoring, fraud consultation and identity theft restoration.

As agribusinesses have become more internet-enabled and data-driven, they increasingly have become the target of cyber-attacks.

In September 2021, Russian hackers leveled a ransomware attack on an Iowa farming cooperative. They demanded $5.9 million to unlock the computer networks. The cooperative was forced to take its computer network offline to isolate the incursion and shuttered its soil-mapping software as a precaution.

Columbia Grain is a supplier of bulk grains, pulses, edible beans, oilseeds, both conventional and organic, worldwide. It is majority owner of Montana Specialty Mills, which operates an organic and non-GMO oilseed crushing facility in Great Falls, Montana, US, and a mustard seed facility in Conrad, Montana, US, and Montana Craft Malt in Butte.