Protecting Your Supply Chain: Cybersecurity Attacks You Should Be Aware Of

Cyberattacks are increasing everywhere. While tension resides in many industries, logistics and transportation firms need to take cybersecurity seriously because they are an alluring, high-impact target to cyber criminals. The most high profile of these cyberthreats is ransomware, which encrypts a company's files until they pay a ransom, which can be thousands or even millions of dollars.

Cybersecurity Risks for Logistics and Transportation

Attacks on businesses also have a ripple effect. The high number of stakeholders and third-party vendors in the logistics chain makes this industry vulnerable to online threats. Many businesses lack the expertise to manage the dangers that come with digitization. Parties in the supply chain suffer when their operations are hindered. Some of the affected businesses—many of which are small and medium-sized businesses—can suffer serious financial and reputational losses in these circumstances. Due to the close ties between the logistics and transportation industries, an attack on one company could halt all goods flow.

Increased use of technology in the logistics industry has helped modernize supply chain management for more transparency and cost-efficacy. The logistics sector deploys IoT to track the movement of their goods and stores large volumes of data in the cloud, which has increased their digital footprint and put them on the radar of hackers. In such an environment, virtual threats are posing serious disruptions to supply chains. The best course of action is not to simply respond to crises when they happen; rather, businesses need to have robust cybersecurity safeguards in place to thwart threats before they disrupt operations or steal sensitive data.

Business intelligence, warehouse management, transportation management, and supply chain visibility are areas where the logistics sector invests heavily in IT. It is crucial to assess the vulnerabilities posed to these systems and to implement specialized techniques to ensure their security. Businesses should undergo a thorough risk assessment and audit, which should involve a thorough examination of the infrastructure, network and security protocols in place. The environment can then be categorized by IT teams depending on risk and the sensitivity of the data generated or criticality of systems.

Establishing multi-layered cybersecurity for logistics operations

By implementing multiple layers of defence against cyber threats, a logistics company can effectively manage risks that its business data and operations are exposed to. Here are eight steps you can take to secure your supply chain.

  • Conduct a Penetration Test

Double down on the security assessment with a penetration test. An outside party performs the test by attempting to hack into a company’s operation to find gaps that the assessment might have missed. 

  • Create an Incident Response Plan

An incident response plan for cybersecurity incidents, such as a data breach, data leak, ransomware attack, or loss of sensitive information, provides your team with guidance on how to react. Identification, protection, detection, reaction, and recovery are the first five stages of an efficient incident response strategy.

  • Cloud Infrastructure Audit

From warehouse inventory, customs compliance, shipments, rate management, supply chain industry uses various software to manage their operation. There are massive amounts of configuration settings and variables at play in cloud infrastructure. A cloud audit can help detect vulnerabilities and prevent data breaches. 

  • Privacy & Compliance

The supply chain industry moves goods to and from people all around the world. Many countries require personal data to be handled in a secure way. For example, when logistics companies manage the personal data of the EU citizens, they are required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  to secure them.

  • Collaborate with Your Supply Chain Partners

Many times, cyber threats come from partners within your supply chain network.You and partners in your network must work together in order to improve efficiency and security of your operation. Although you may not have influence over security precautions taken by others, you can choose to collaborate with partners who regularly undertake security audits or who are already certified. You might also draft a contract mandating that your partners follow fundamental cybersecurity precautions.

  • Ransomware Protection

Ransomware and other malware can bring operations to a standstill. Goods in transport can be subject to extra fees, some goods might be perishable. Protecting your data, systems and networks can reduce the risk of being attacked by ransomware and hackers, avoiding downtimes and customer frustration.

  • Security Program Management

New cyber threats pop up almost every day, improving your company’s cybersecurity posture is vital and an investment in cybersecurity measures and program goes a long way. An effective security program should cover every aspect of your business, from conducting risk assessment, monitoring of threats, achieving compliance to training employees.

  • Testing & Awareness Training

Cybercriminals have adopted smarter and stealthier tactics to dupe users and businesses. It is imperative that all personnel be trained on the proper cybersecurity procedures. Employees should be aware of cyber interference or hacking attempts. Educate your employees on the dangers of opening suspicious emails, clicking on unknown URLs, links, or attachments. Sometimes, criminals mirror email addresses to hack into mobile devices. It is a best practice to raise employees’ awareness as they are your security frontline.

Re-watch our on-demand security awareness webinar to get insider tips when it comes to raising employee awareness and implementing security awareness training.

Have questions about the logistics and transportation industry, or need help coordinating your cybersecurity needs?  Let us know, and we’ll be happy to assist.

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