There will be no welfare assessments under the proAction program on Ontario farms until Holstein Canada fixes a data breach. Dairy Farmers of Ontario sent a communique to its members about the security issue on July 25. Holstein Canada manages cattle assessments under the proAction quality assurance program
It says that the data breach was because a file transfer protocol (FTP) site was left accessible online.
DFO quoted Holstein Canada as saying:
“Our investigation has concluded this incident was limited in scope. While the information may have been accessible and, in very few instances, viewed by third parties, after a thorough analysis we have no reason to believe your (producer) data has been misused.”
The information has now been secured. Holstein Canada is undergoing a cyber security audit by a third party.
It will take a few weeks to complete and while it is underway DFO is suspending Holstein Canada’s services assessing dairy cattle under proAction. Holstein Canada assesses animal wellbeing for the proAction program. The marketing board said validation of farms under proAction will continue during the period the review is underway; farmers who do not meet the requirement of having a cattle assessment on file will not be penalized during the suspension.
Holstein Canada will be informing producers whose data was part of the breach about the situation by a letter.