Updated: Aug 31, 2021
The trucking industry may not be a digitally native sector, but it's one of the few industries that are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
CEO of online driver training platform CarriersEdge Mark Murrell explained how trucking is a high-dollar business, meaning companies always have large amounts of cash or credit available to pay big bills. If they become a victim of a ransomware attack, or any kind of cybercrime for that matter, cybercriminals could be extracting a higher amount than they would be by targeting small and midsize organisations in lower value industries. In fact, it happened recently, when hackers infiltrated a trucking company's systems and stole data from thousands of customers, including their Social Security numbers and bank information. Security Boulevard reported that it got to the point where there was a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming a whopping $5 million (£3.9 million) in damages.
Given that the trucking industry is vital to the health of the economy, with various sectors relying on trucks to transport their goods, it is all the more critical for companies to prioritise their cyber security.
However, many small and midsize fleets only have a single "IT guy" responsible for keeping their networks running, managing support, handling security, and so much more. Trucking businesses will need to hire more staff and invest in good cyber security solutions to protect themselves. Luckily, there are a growing number of fleet companies adopting modern technology to make operations easier and safer for everyone involved. Verizon Connect explains how GPS tracking has become a integral in many businesses, allowing them to harness the masses of data produced by their operations to drive greater efficiency, improve productivity, reduce costs and increase the safety of both their vehicles and their drivers.
Then again, failing to secure all the data generated could also spell trouble for the organisation. If someone outside the company gains access to your GPS data, they will have all the information about your vehicles, including full route logs, location history, and the content of your trucks. You can avoid this from happening by ensuring that your operations are cyber secure. And here are some ways to do just that:
Invest in security solutions
FleetOwner underscores how hackers can access your information physically and remotely. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you take proper precautions to keep them from ever gaining entry to your facility and computer systems. Ideally, you should have a firewall, run anti-malware programs across all the devices you use within the organisation, and use a virtual private network (VPN) to mask your activity when connected to the internet.
Additionally, you must also have appropriate security settings for your network folders, have backups for all your data in case of loss or damage, store whatever hard copies you have in locked areas, use strong, unique passwords for everything, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
Continually train your staff
A previous Cyber Stealth post mentioned how you must employ continuous training to change your employee’s mindset and reduce the mistakes when it comes to security. Having a training session once a year isn’t enough to raise awareness and instil the best practices in your employees. One of the best ways of doing continuous training is by issuing bite-sized training to revisit key cyber security topics and encourage knowledge retention. It's also recommended to use various types of training tools and content, including interactive learning modules, culture assessments, awareness messaging campaigns, and much more.
Make sure systems are up-to-date
It's also not enough to merely invest in cyber security solutions. You have to make sure that you abide by software updates, including patches and upgrading to new features that are intended to enhance the security of your fleet. Tripwire notes that failing to do so can render your fleet vulnerable to attacks. Fortunately, most software these days automatically push out software updates without the intervention of the user. When vetting for security solutions to incorporate in your systems, you may want to inquire about the frequency and extent of their updates to have a clearer picture of how regularly they are updating and improving their platforms.
Maintain a cautious mindset
Assuming that your organisation or fleet isn't vulnerable to cyber security threats is dangerous. No company, regardless of size, is immune to the variety of attacks out there. It would help if you instilled a cautious mindset across all your workers in your company so everyone can be wary of potential threats. You should also develop processes and systems based on the understanding that you may be a target of attackers who are out to steal valuable information.
Information Age reiterate how opening the door to digital will do wonders for your company, but not if you leave that door open behind you. The fight against cyber threats is an ongoing battle, and it's high time for fleet businesses to invest in their defences.
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