Home Electronics Cyber Tips When it Comes to the Trucking Industry

Cyber Tips When it Comes to the Trucking Industry

by Melissa Thompson

Cyber security brings to mind images of company computers and time-crunched IT workers, not the trucking industry. However, in today’s increasingly digital landscape truckers are more likely to be victims of cyber security attacks than ever.

What to Know About Cyber Security in the Trucking Industry

Modern freight trucks are packed with more technology than you probably realize, much of which is appealing to hackers or contains sensitive information. There are the obvious GPS systems that track the location of trucks and their drivers, but also mobile apps and ELDs, or Electronic Logging Devices. The purpose of these tools is to generate shipping data for shipping companies, but this data also contains sensitive information pertaining to units sold and other types of product information.

Studies have indicated that hackers are especially drawn to connected vehicles. A skilled hacker could even gain access to a tractor trailer’s diagnostic port or gain the ability to manipulate instrument panel readouts. In a worst case scenario, this could mean someone else forcing acceleration or even disabling the braking system on a truck.

The importance of cyber security is more than just the truck itself, however. Employees need to be able to identify phishing emails and other scam attempts. These scams usually take the form of phony emails that look legitimate. They ask the recipient to provide sensitive information like login details or credit card numbers, and advanced phishing attempts may even look like they were sent from your company’s own human resources or IT department at a glance.

Cyber Tips that Apply to Working in the Trucking Industry

Luckily, cyber attacks are preventable through proper training and regular cyber security assessments.

One of the best ways to limit cyber security risks is to limit the number of personnel who can access sensitive information. This is true of any industry – after all, having fewer people with access to sensitive data means having fewer people at risk of falling to cyber security attacks.

Make sure to always install the latest versions of any software that your trucking business is using. Software companies release new versions and patches to fix known issues as they occur, meaning if a hacker will have an easier time forcing their way into a system if the software they’re targeting is outdated.

The use of antivirus software helps prevent spyware, malware, and viruses from slipping into your security networks. A trustworthy antivirus helps prevent attacks before they happen. In addition, limiting or restricting employee’s access to the company’s shared network on their personal devices can help reduce the risk of encountering viruses in the first place.

Another good first line of defense against cyber security attacks would be the implementation of a reliable TMS, or cloud hosted transportation management system. Cloud-based TMS systems focus heavily on modern and efficient security measures, including data encryption, regular security audits, and compliance with international cyber security standards. The data protection measurements provided by a TMS often surpasses what an individual company can achieve on their own.
The transportation industry and the technology used within it is evolving faster than we realize, which is why it’s so important to keep up with changes in cyber security.

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