Cyberattacks are on the rise in the transportation industry, and business owners are looking to new technology and practices to keep their data secure.
Technology and IoT software is steadily evolving and changing. Tools and systems are becoming so much more sophisticated than they used to be. Unfortunately, this can be applied to the methods cybercriminals use to hack into company systems and compromise or steal their information. Today, over 40% of all data breaches are caused by cybercriminals and hackers, and there are about 116 targeted attacks across all sectors on a global level each and every day. The transportation and logistics industry is no stranger to this issue, and substantial data breaches could significantly damage the infrastructure and reputation of trucking companies of any size.
In this guide, we’ll break down a few ways that transportation industry leaders and management can protect against cyberattacks.
When it comes to cybersecurity in any sector, having the right software and systems in place can make the biggest difference. A transportation management system (a.k.a. TMS) should be the first place transportation leaders look to improve. The ideal TMS should be cloud hosted and have a number of efficient, upgradable security protocols in place. Just as well, user accounts and overall access to your TMS should be limited and monitored.
No two transportation companies operate exactly the same way. Regardless, all organizations must have preventative measures in place to reduce their security risks. Businesses that have an internet presence are not the only types of businesses that are at risk for data exposures or cyber crimes. On a basic level, transportation company leaders should conduct an audit of how their company is running to properly determine which direction to go in. Ask yourself the following questions during your audit:
● Does the company rely on networks and IT in order to make payments or process transactions?
● Does any department within the company rely on IT to run administrative functions and monitor fleets?
● Are industrial control systems required to automate processes within the company?
● Does the company regularly store third-party sensitive information such as personal customer data, payment methods, etc. on the company’s network?
● Does the company send and receive sensitive information that could possibly be accessed via the internet by unauthorized parties?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, your company could be significantly at risk. Luckily, there are tons of solutions to these above issues as well:
● Implement security practices, standards, and guidance that must be regularly reviewed and changed as the company scales.
● Create a powerful risk governance strategy that aligns with all risks involved in transportation and freight management. Ensure that your board or stakeholders are involved in the process.
● Create processes that help key leaders understand all of the potential threats to the company.
● Conduct regular testing of your established systems, especially your security software, to ensure that your company is efficiently protected in the event of an intentional breach.
As we mentioned earlier, no two transportation businesses are identical. As such, no single cookie-cutter strategy will work for a majority of transportation businesses. In general, though, one can develop their own risk analysis strategy by following this formula template:
● Initial risk services consultation.
● Cyber risk assessment and audit.
● Cyber risk financing and budgeting consultation.
● Security and risk mapping process.
● Scenario modeling.
● Analysis of insurance coverage gap.
● Insurance market review.
● Vendor selection and approval.
● Cyber insurance application form completion and submission.
● Underwriting meeting.
In general, a strong security risk assessment of your existing systems followed by an intensive risk management program can help you discover any and all current vulnerabilities.
Due to the nature of transportation and shipping, many mobile devices and networks are often involved in a single company. For businesses with an excellent cloud hosted TMS system in place, mobile devices become the core of business functions. Truckers will use the TMS app on their phone to clock in, track hours, and map out their route. In-house staff might use that very same app for a number of management and logging functions. This is truly revolutionary and much more efficient than using obsolete devices or in-house computers. However, this innovation presents a unique need for network and personal device security management.
Conduct a thorough review of all networked devices. Look into company-wide mobile software, especially TMS platforms, that have built-in security functions to protect the user’s phone and the company’s accounts. Just as well, it would be wise to reevaluate your in-house internet network to ensure it is as protected as possible.
In addition to having the best possible TMS systems and security software, take the time to train your workforce on how to create passwords and use their devices in the safest way possible at work.
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