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The recent ransomware attack to the Colonial Pipeline was a huge eye-opener for many companies across the transportation industry. It not only showcased how vulnerable companies are – no matter what size they are – but it also showed how a cyber-attack can have far-reaching negative effects.

With more digitization across the industry, it is no surprise that cyber-attacks or threats are drastically increasing. As a matter of fact, the transportation industry was the ninth most attacked industry in 2020, according to IBM’s 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index. On average, those data breaches cost transportation companies about $3.58 million per incident (2020 Ponemon Cost of a Data Breach study). 

For transportation companies, it is imperative to ensure they have the cybersecurity programs in place to ensure they are protected against data breaches, ransomware and other cyber-attacks. 

Is Your Company Protected?

Every transportation and supply chain company is at risk of a cyber-attack, no matter how big or small or how much technology the companies use. It is important for companies to do everything they can to protect against a data breach, because one attack could be disastrous. But where do you start?

Cybersecurity experts say it all starts with a plan. And that plan can be simple. A cybersecurity plan should start with:

Updating antivirus protection. Installing a firewall and software that protects against viruses is a great start, but it’s not enough. Companies must stay on top of that software’s maintenance and patching. It is easy to put off the patching or updating the software because it will take some time and may put the company offline for a short period of time. However, it is too important to put off. It is best to do the updates as soon as they come out and to schedule them for a time that will cause the least amount of disruption to the company – most companies do updates overnight or during the weekend. Assign an IT person to this critically important role.  

Training employees. With the number of devices that your company has connected to its network, your employees become your biggest cybersecurity risk. Many breaches or attacks happen through email or bad links. Employees often fall for phishing emails or click on bad links on websites. It is important to educate employees on the risks and the importance of ensuring they know the email sender before clicking links. Also, if employees will be responsible for updating their own computers or systems, stress the importance of doing that as they become available. 

Asking your providers about their cybersecurity. Any providers that you work with who connect to your systems, your company should ask about their cybersecurity programs. These could be entry points into your network. 

Cybersecurity and Your Company 

While no plan is 100% effective, starting with these few easy steps will help protect your transportation company from cyber-attacks. Prioritize the time to implement and update your cybersecurity measures. It could save your company thousands of dollars in damage and in reputation.

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