Cyber attacks have been on the rise just about everywhere, making the need for cybersecurity vital - including among logistics and transportation companies. With tensions rising in areas of the world associated with cyber attacks, logistics and transportation companies must take cybersecurity especially seriously as they can be an attractive, high-impact target. The most high profile of these cyber threats of late has been ransomware, which encrypts a company's files until it pays a designated ransom - which can be thousands or even millions of dollars. And the threat is especially great for small to mid-sized businesses, as studies have shown nearly two-thirds of those attacked close within six months.
Logistics and Transportation Cyber Attack Examples
Because of their rising prevalence, there are plenty of examples of cyber attacks affecting logistics and transportation companies. The most recent at the time of this writing involves Expeditors International - the world's sixth-largest freight forwarder. Expeditors reportedly shut down its computer systems after an attack limited its ability to manage customs and distribution activities, and the Seattle-based company said most of its operations would be limited. While Expeditors did not explicitly say it was a ransomware attack, the business did say it would restore systems from backups, an indicator of that attack type as it makes files inaccessible.
Each one of these attacks on larger organizations has trickle down impacts as well. When their operations are impacted, not only are shippers hurt, but so too are others involved in supply chain activities, like third party logistics providers, drayage companies, railroads, trucking companies and more. Some of these impacted companies - many of whom are small to mid-sized businesses - can suffer great financial harm in these cases, and they're certainly not immune to cyber risk themselves. Because logistics and transportation is such an inter-connected industry, any one company faced with an attack can bring freight movement to a screeching halt.
Cybersecurity Tips for Logistics and Transportation
As with any industry, cybersecurity for logistics and transportation companies begins at the top with the acknowledgement that cyber threats exist. Logistics and transportation companies deal with their own particular challenges, with users often widespread, away from controlled networks and heavy interaction with outside partners. Addressing those issues requires secure remote access and network segmentation among other solutions. On top of that, here are five steps that can vastly improve a company's cybersecurity posture (whether in logistics and transportation or not), including:
Training employees to be aware of threats, and not to fall for malicious emails, links and attachments that could open the door to your network