How to Protect Your Trucking Business from Getting Hacked
In today’s digital age, cybersecurity has become a major concern for every business, including the trucking industry. As the transportation industry relies more and more on technology, trucking businesses are becoming an increasingly attractive target for hackers, putting sensitive data at risk. In today’s world, businesses of all sizes need to take these threats like ransomware attacks and data breaches seriously. Small trucking businesses are particularly vulnerable because they often have fewer resources to devote to cybersecurity. As a fleet manager, truck driver, or owner-operator, you can take proactive measures to protect your trucking business.
In this blog post, we will discuss effective strategies/procedures for preventing hackers from stealing sensitive information and exploiting your operations.
Understand your risks and regularly test your security
Regularly testing your security can help identify vulnerabilities and improve data security. You should perform penetration testing to identify potential weak points in your system and have your security protocols and procedures reviewed by a third-party.
Once you’ve performed an audit of your cybersecurity approach and where your technology holds up, you can create a plan revolving around your business’ short comings. Hiring an IT provider will help greatly with guiding you through this often-complex technological landscape.
Create a Strong Password Policy
Passwords are one of the first lines of defense against hackers. Fleet managers should encourage employees to use complex passwords that include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
Management should create strict password policies and ensure they are enforced. Policies should dictate how frequently passwords should be changed, how complex passwords should be, and how the passwords should be stored. Consider using a password storage and generator software for all your employees to use.
In many cases, passwords are much less secure than SSO (Single Sign On) or 2FA (Two Factor Authentication). Both of which can be implemented depending on the websites and software you use. If a site gives you the option to enable SSO or 2FA, select those options in conjunction with your regular password to certify the safest measures.
Implement Software and Hardware Safeguards
Your trucking business relies on technology to operate, but it is also essential to protect that technology. The first step in securing your technology is to ensure that all software and hardware is kept up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Hackers look for vulnerabilities in software and hardware that can be exploited to penetrate your system.
Consider using firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS). These security measures will help prevent external threats from gaining access to your trucking business’s networks, systems, and data.
Train Your Staff
Human error is the number one cause of data breaches. Educating your staff on cybersecurity and raising their awareness of potential threats, can reduce the likelihood of a data breach. Staff should be taught how to recognize and respond to phishing emails and malware, what to do if they suspect something isn’t right, and what steps to take to safeguard sensitive information, such as customer data, intellectual property, and confidential documents.
Consider implementing a security awareness program that educates employees on the latest cybersecurity threats and how to respond to them. Also, make sure that employees are aware of the consequences of negligent behavior, such as downloading unauthorized software or opening suspicious messages across all websites.
Backup Your Data
Back up your data on a regular basis and ensure it is stored securely. Regular backups are essential because in the unfortunate case your data is lost or stolen, backups can make it much easier and quicker to recover. Storing your backups off-site and secured with encryption can protect your data in the event of a physical security breach. Backups should also be tested regularly to ensure that they are working correctly.
Taking advantage of the cloud is advantageous to all businesses. Configuring and enabling cloud backup and disaster recovery is a great option for the trucking industry. Cloud backups provide scalable and secure data protection, minimizing the risk of data loss, and reducing costs.
Create an Incident Response Plan
Despite taking preventive measures, a cyber attack can happen. That’s why it’s essential to create a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines the steps to take in the event of a cyber attack. An incident response plan will help you minimize the damage and reduce the downtime after an unfortunate breach.
The incident response plan should include identifying an incident response team, containing the incident, researching the attack, and recovering from the incident. Make sure your team knows their roles and have access to all the necessary tools and resources to carry out their tasks effectively.
Limit Access to Data
While it may be tempting to give access to all employees to sensitive information, like we mentioned earlier, human error is the leading cause of common cyber attacks. Many people having access to all information increases the risk of a data breach. Instead, grant access only to those who need it, and limit administrator access only to senior-level management. Additionally, encrypting data, securing cloud storage, and using VPNs (Virtual Private Network) are critical tools and provide protection to your company’s intellectual assets and prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information.
Implement BYOD and Remote Policies
The use of Personal devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets by employees is becoming increasingly common in the trucking and transportation industry. However, it is essential to implement a BYOD (Bring Your Device) policy that mandates all employees who use their personal devices for work purposes to follow the company’s cybersecurity policies. They should ensure that their devices have up-to-date antivirus software and that they are running the latest version of the operating system.
Remote work has become very common in the transportation and trucking industry, and employees need to connect to the company’s network from different locations. As discussed previously, it is important to secure all network connections with VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology. Additionally, secure data transmission protocols like Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) create a secure channel between devices, ensuring that data transmitted remains secure.
Partner with an Expert Cybersecurity Provider
As a trucking business owner or operator, some cyber threats can be beyond your expertise and knowledge. It’s vital to partner with a professional cybersecurity provider with established experience, cybersecurity solutions, and tools to help you identify and mitigate potential cyber attacks. A reliable and competent cybersecurity provider should work with you to identify vulnerabilities in your system, provide the right security solutions, and facilitate regular security assessments and updates.
Trucking companies can benefit from using an all-in-one cybersecurity solution that your IT provider can offer you. Most solutions can help detect, prevent, and mitigate cyberattacks. This solution includes a secure firewall, antivirus, and anti-malware software, regular updates, and monitoring of network and system activity. Invest in cybersecurity solutions that have advanced features such as machine learning, which can help detect unusual activity, and cloud-based solutions that eliminate the need for expensive hardware and software.
In conclusion, preventing hacking on your trucking business is essential to protect your data, your customers and your bottom line. Understanding the risks, securing your technology, educating your staff, backing up your data, and testing your security are all important steps in preventing a cybersecurity breach. Taking the initiative will save you from some of the most significant risks that come with being the victim of a data breach, it’s crucial to your reputation and longevity in the trucking industry.