Supply chains are subjected to numerous risks including incorrect orders, delayed shipments, inventory loss, and more. More recently, however, a major risk has materialized in the logistics industry – cybersecurity. Logistics, like most facets of operating a business, involves transferring sensitive information electronically. This is definitely beneficial to any supply chain as it simplifies and speeds up communication. However, it also makes the sensitive information susceptible to cybercrime.
Supply chains are part of a complex global system where data and information are shared through cyberspace. The interconnectedness of the logistics industry is an attractive target for cyber-attacks. The more links in a supply chain, the more vulnerable it becomes, which augments the importance of secure handling and storage of data.
The effects of cyber-attacks on the supply chain can be detrimental to all parties involved. Therefore, it is critical that logistics companies invest in ways to safeguard sensitive data and information. The following list provides some of the ways in which supply-chain security can be improved.
Protect Your Internal Systems
To help protect your internal systems against malicious software, or malware, install firewalls and virus-detection programs. These block malware access to your systems. Be sure to only use tested and trusted software. To support your company’s data protection, this software should have a strong security system with password protection, chain of authentication, and the ability of a user to take control.
In addition, be sure to regularly back up your files and databases in order to save your data and information in the event of a cyber-attack.
Train Your Employees
It is imperative that all personnel be trained on the proper cybersecurity procedures. Employees should be aware of potential cyber interference or hacking attempts. Employees should be educated on the dangers of opening suspicious emails, as well as, clicking on unknown URLs, links, and email attachments. It is best practice to prevent employees from downloading unauthorized software and apps. These could potentially damage your security walls.
Collaborate with Your Supply Chain Partners
Many times cyber threats come from partners within your supply-chain network. In order to increase efficiency in the logistics industry, you and those in your network must access shared online platforms. Therefore, you need to be cognizant of new vulnerabilities that may arise. Even though you cannot control others’ security measures, you can choose to work with partners that conduct regular security audits or have external security certifications. You could also devise a contract that requires your partners to adhere to basic cybersecurity measures.
Hire a Cybersecurity Expert
While the aforementioned methods will significantly reduce the cyber risks your company may face, the threat can never be fully eliminated. However, you can do more to strengthen your security, namely, having a skilled cybersecurity expert on your IT team. Cybersecurity professionals have been trained to protect data and are not just IT professionals with some knowledge of cybersecurity. This difference will often determine which companies will react well to a cybersecurity incident and those that will not.
Manage the Risks
Your company’s overall plan for risk mitigation should include protecting against cyber threats. Companies should establish and implement long-term strategies to decrease the possibility of a cyber-attack.
You hear about new cyber threats almost every day; so, improving your company’s cybersecurity should be a high priority. The best logistics companies are well-aware of all possible cyber risks and use the necessary cybersecurity measures to protect the data it holds and shares.