An increase in cybersecurity attacks pose a large risk to trucking and logistics sectors as operations become much more computer-based.
“The attack space where a bad guy can find opportunities and get into your system, that space has expanded with the use of technology and the newer things coming into the vehicles,” said Mark Zachos, president of vehicle diagnostics company DG Technologies. “We want to protect the vehicle, and the systems, and the back offices and all of that. The boundary probably hasn’t moved, but the space inside of it has increased.”
The 2023 Travelers Risk Index found 55% of transportation leaders were worried about cybersecurity risks.
“Nearly 25% of this year’s survey participants said their company has been the victim of a cyberattack, and nearly half of those incidents have taken place within the past 12 months,” said John Menefee, CyberRisk product manager at Travelers. “Cyber criminals look for network vulnerabilities. Once found, those vulnerabilities can be exploited for monetary purposes.”
“As we become increasingly dependent on technology designed to make our lives easier and more efficient, we also become more exposed to vulnerabilities,” said Sandra Radesky, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency associate director of vulnerability management.
“CISA works with our government and industry partners in the transportation sector to ensure organizations understand the risks they face.”
“Bad actors will take advantage of any shot they can at gaining access to somebody and making trouble,” said Kevin Linardic, chief technology officer at Carrier Logistics. “I really feel it’s just across the board and not just because there’s more technology out there.”
Penn State University professor John Langley authored the 2024 Third-Party Logistics Study.
The study found that 87% of shippers and 94% of third-party logistics providers agree adopting emerging technologies is vital to future supply chain growth.
“While we have seen significant improvements in supply chains regarding the quality of relationships among participating organizations, this in itself can increase the risk of incurring cybersecurity threats,” Langley said.
“One way to prepare an offense that may help to avoid such occurrences would be to have a cybersecurity strategy that spans individual supply chain relationships and for the end-to-end supply chain as well.”
“We actually would be safer with that increased technology because now we have the ability to shut that vehicle down in a safe manner, whereas if you’ve got a human that’s overtaking that vehicle, you don’t have the ability to do that,” said Ryan Powell, senior vice president at Velociti. “We’re actually maybe mitigating risk by having additional technology.”
“There’s definitely a significant increase in terms of the overall risk of these threats,” said Spencer Shute, principal consultant at supply chain and procurement consulting firm Proxima.
“When you think about the overall supply chain, and specifically the transportation networks, they’re historically fairly archaic and simplistic technology-driven companies. But the ELDs have really started to change a lot of that.”
“Now we’ve got so many different types of strategic thefts,” said Danny Ramon, intelligence and response manager at Overhaul. “A lot of these folks are well ingrained in the logistics industry already. They know how the supply chain works. They are adept at registering multiple USDOT and [motor carrier] numbers at once and they can adapt the methods that they use at a moment’s notice.”