Cyber Threats Facing Importers and How Logistics Companies can Avert Them

Technology has become a powerful change maker in the supply chain and logistics industries.

Tremendous amounts of technology exists in forms we hadn’t imagined just a few short years ago: e-sourcing, predictive analytics, cloud storage, robotics, and even the Internet of Things. The list goes on and on.

With this burgeoning pool of tech steadily altering traditional industry standards, we must face the inevitable reality of cyber threats. And it’s not just logistics and SCM operations that face the threat – but also the importers and organizations that work hand in hand with them.

We dove into the world of cyber threats to see how logistics companies can help importers stay secure in the future.

Cyber Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

According to a National Institute of Standards and Technology report, cyber threats don’t just happen within IT systems themselves. More so, they become possible because people and processes are more easily compromised.

“Cyber security in the supply chain cannot be viewed as an IT problem only. Cyber supply chain risks touch sourcing, vendor management, supply chain continuity and quality, transportation security and many other functions across the enterprise and require a coordinated effort to address.”

The solution? 3PL partners must limit access to its technology very carefully. To do this, they need to look at the safety and security of technology as everyone’s responsibility.

Limit Mobile Device Usage in the Workplace

According to AmWINS Group, Inc, “Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices in the workplace – to track locations, navigate, coordinate drop offs and pickups, submit bills and more – can put a company at risk. These devices can be locked with ransomware or suffer some other sort of network failure that can impact business”.

As a logistics company, consider meeting with software experts to gauge the threat of mobile phones in your workplace, and make adjustments accordingly.

Consider Cyber Security Policies

While cyber threats can stress even the most seasoned logistics buff, there are different types of insurance coverages to help out. Logistics companies can benefit from looking at different types of cyber liability. Coverage varies by the insurer, according to AmWINS Group, Inc. who says that social engineering liability “provides coverage for the insured’s loss of funds after a cybercriminal tricks an employee into wiring funds to the wrong account”.

Have an Expert Complete a Comprehensive Risk Assessment

According to a Logistics Management article, “the organization’s approach to cyber security should not be viewed in isolation from its mainstream business activities; they are too tightly interconnected. The level of protection has to be proportional to the potential impacts and likelihood of an incident. For this reason, an information security risk assessment could be the right way to assess the security of the supply chain and identify the critical areas to be addressed. Ideally, a third party whose independence can help ensure objectivity should conduct the assessment.”

Handle Customers’ Information Carefully

Logistics suppliers should take time to completely understand their responsibilities regarding the safekeeping of their customers’ information. They should consider supplier fraud prevention as one of their first priorities. According to Logistics Management, “a supplier’s customers stand to lose a lot if the procurement or finance team is duped by a legitimate-looking email from a supplier asking to change the banking details for a big payment.” The antidote? There’s no cure-all, but according to Logistics Management, making moves such as “agreeing on a process that includes additional steps for further confirmation of any such change to their banking details” will help protect everyone.

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Cyber threats and technology are still in their infancy compared to what’s to come. With vigilant application of these tips and suggestions, logistics and supply chain operations will grow increasingly resilient to cyber threats, providing a sense of security to importers and organizations looking for strong partnerships and success. Over the years, this new technology will continue to motivate logistics companies to update and review their cyber strategies on a regular basis. When a mistake is made, forward-thinking logistics companies will learn, adapt, and grow even stronger.

2018-12-18T15:37:10+00:00December 17th, 2018|