Securing the Digital Highway


Cybersecurity threats appear in all facets of our daily lives, the impact of which varies based on the type of attack and the target of said attack. Notably, the freight industry is just as susceptible to attacks as any other. Specifically, if a company in the trucking industry suffers an attack, it could lead to anything from a business not getting the supplies it needs to run, or even a localized food shortage.

What cybersecurity threats do trucking companies face?

There are various ways that a trucking business can be met with a cyber attack. One example is social engineering: a criminal can concoct an email or other such message that may appear legitimate to a worker, but in fact, is the ticket they need to breach a business’ system. Hackers can just as well break into a company’s records without even the use of social engineering, holding sensitive information for ransom. Internally speaking, an employee can make a mistake while executing a task that could lead to the corruption of data or a network that the business depends on to function could experience a system failure. The logging device a driver uses could also be attacked by a virus, forcing them to stop in their tracks in the midst of an important or time-sensitive delivery.

How these attacks can be mitigated

In order to stay vigilant against these attacks, one of the most important things is to keep employees informed. Often, an attack can start from the bottom up. This can be maintained via the use of training programs: train them on how to spot a phishing attempt, how to tell when activity on their devices is potentially malicious, and what to keep in mind to avoid a data leakage due to employee negligence. A company should make sure that it is insured in case an attack does happen: a policy could cover anything from a business interruption to network failure. In addition, it is important to make sure data is properly protected via the use of firewalls, and that there is sufficient physical security in the form of key cards and biometrics. It is also important to keep all important information regularly backed up.

Being compliant and safe simultaneously

From a compliance standpoint, an employee should be aware not to use any device that is not company-provided to fulfill business needs. The same password should not be used for more than one purpose, and they need to be changed on a regular basis. Employees should know not to leave their logging device lying around unsupervised, and multi-factor authentication should be implemented if it has not already.

Ensuring the best cybersecurity practices

It is often best to learn from history. Provide truckers a look at what an incident of data theft looks like, and why things like VPNs or two-factor authentication are needed. Keep employees aware through announcements or newsletters, and direct them to resources that they can use to educate themselves on cyber security in the trucking industry. Make them aware of current exploits or malware incidents impacting different businesses, and stay aware of any risks pertaining to vendors. Make sure systems and software are up to date, and consider running network stress tests.


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