The emerging urgency to protect yourself against cyber crimes

 How do you fight back against criminals you can’t even see?  (Photo: Shutterstock)

How do you fight back against criminals you can’t even see? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Business managers and executives are barely getting their heads around the technology of autonomous, much less the regulatory issues. Yet now it is becoming imperative to get coverage for cyber crimes. While it may seem like something out of a science fiction novel for someone to randomly highjack your truck, the threat is not only real, it’s probably bigger than you think, and we’re in an era where vulnerabilities are particularly acute.

The truth is that many criminals are starting to get more sophisticated with their tactics. No target is too large or small, and this is something that every business owner needs to be aware of. According to Reliance Partners in 2014 there were around 342 data breaches that exposed the information of 9,015,970 customers from giant companies, like American Express, Home Depot, and even North Dakota University.

The Bangladesh Bank suffered an attack back in February, 2016 where the criminal actually took 81 million dollars without forced entry or holding up the bank. This was all done through a computer with the touch of a few buttons.

As we witness an open flow of IT information from vehicles of all kinds, it is critical to consider firewalls and anti-malware protection. A connected vehicle can face different lapses in connectivity, including software, network, and system failures. There is strong potential for data being stolen via hacking or cybercrime.

“The key objectives of IT security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. We want to ensure that the data in your vehicle is confidential - personal data in particular - but also everything else,” said Dr. Simon Assion, specialized lawyer in Bird & Bird LLP at the Future of Transportation World Conference in Germany this past June.

The threat is becoming so bad that GlobalData says that unified threat management (UTM), “should be an area for growth going forward. The process can tackle diverse threats and also address the issues faced by companies that find themselves with a myriad of security products from a wide variety of vendors, which can result in a security landscape that lacks coherence.”

Data is like the new oil, and people are after it. Cyber attacks will not only expose sensitive information, but the recovery process from a breach, businesses, and other agencies have to pay a lot of money to fix the problem. This could include revamping security, re-establishing brand trust, or even dealing with lawsuits brought against the business or agency. It is estimated that cyber attacks costs 300 billion to 1 trillion dollars in just one year.

Reliance Partners now offers Cyber liability insurance, and it includes several factors, many of them depending on the company’s specific needs. While insurance is a bottom line for making sure you have secure operations, there are also some steps you can take right now to create and maintain a cyber security plan. Here are some security tips for trucking fleets:

·   Make sure all employees are trained, and are using best practices when it comes to security protocol.

·   Run a comprehensive malware and antivirus program, for both software and operating systems.

·   Update security patches and limit password attempts. It’s critical for your company to be proactive when it comes to keeping your website’s code updated.

·   Create frequent backups and a “hacked” disaster recovery plan. Make sure you maintain a cloud-based backup, with a comprehensive plan in the event you’ve been hacked.

·   Review your IT environment for vulnerabilities and update your systems accordingly. It’s important that you stay one step ahead of hackers, and keep abreast of changes from password timeouts to new malware protection advances.

The issue is increasing in seriousness. It's become more than mere “disruption,” or simply pulling the U.S.’s chain. Meddling in elections and creating social media “trolling farms” in Eastern Europe is one thing. Hacking into the infrastructure that keeps the lights on, and the supply chain moving is next level.