As data security becomes an increasing focus around the world, we examine the state of cybersecurity in logistics and how shippers can safeguard against potential threats.
Riding the tidal wave of new and constantly improving logistics technology requires navigating the waters of cybersecurity. Cyber-attacks or cyber-terrorism may seem unlikely to affect transportation and logistics. But, in reality, hackers are opportunistic and will seize on data vulnerabilities in any industry. Cybersecurity in logistics is now an area for focus.
Facing the facts: Cybersecurity is a vulnerable space in logistics
Data security is the #1 aspect of cybersecurity. And, unfortunately, we receive constant notifications of data breaches and reports of high-dollar ransomware these days.
Protecting proprietary and customer information is critical for shippers. And avoiding cybersecurity threats in logistics presents complex problems. But don’t be tempted to put your head in the sand. While you can’t just turn off the internet, there are lots of ways to secure commercial shipping and transportation data.
First, think like a hacker
Considering what’s behind a cyber-attack can help you prepare.
Hackers are often trying to disrupt the systems they interfere with or hack for financial gain. They may hold information hostage or interfere with the ability to deposit funds in an account. “White-hat” hackers may be motivated to identify vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
The bottom line is that all hackers seek to control or expose confidential or proprietary information.
Know your vulnerability points
In the logistics industry, employees, systems, and software all present vulnerable points. Let’s take a brief look at each:
Employees need regular training in avoiding hacking attempts via email as well as phone. If you educate all of the users on your system to delete suspicious emails and never open attachments from unknown users, you are creating a first line of defense. Remember: valid emails can always be re-sent.
If you haven’t moved to a TMS, here’s a compelling argument in favor of the upgrade.
Some partners in the logistics supply chain are still using fax. But unfortunately, sticking with outmoded systems is not playing it safe. Faxes often contain sensitive information and are relatively easy to hack.
Switching to a TMS or making an upgrade may seem overwhelming, so check out our tips on how to find the right TMS to make a smooth transition.