Transportation and supply chain cybersecurity rank among the top concerns of shippers, according to a 2016 survey by Wills Towers Watson. Considering the rapid advancements of technology over the years and the shipper's growing reliance upon web-based systems, the findings may not come as a shock. 

With online threats becoming increasingly present and criminal activity more brazen (ie., Yahoo's massive data breaches), shippers need to be proactive and aware of the potential dangers that exist on the web. 

If It Looks Phishy, Avoid It

According to the 2017 Wombat State of The Phish Report, 76% of the study's respondents reported being the victim of a phishing attack in 2016. Phishing, which can take the form of an email, text message, or phone call, is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from a victim. In many instances, the cyber criminal attempts to trick the victim into believing that a communication is coming from a reputable source. Their tactics can include using a company's logo or a similar looking email address.

Many email service providers, such as Google and Microsoft, have systems in place to help weed out potential threats. Still, some communications may still manage to bypass security controls. 

Be wary if you receive requests via electronic communication that asks for personal information, such as social security numbers and account login information. If you receive a questionable email from a service provider, reach out directly to them to verify it was actually sent by them.

Consider Investing In Cybersecurity Defenses

There are numerous ways that businesses can be affected by cybersecurity threats, including email scams and hacking. One of the first basic lines of defense to protect your business and your customers is a digital firewall. Firewalls are designed to prohibit outside sources from gaining access to your computer or network. Most computer systems already have a firewall built into them, and there are also numerous firewall software developers that can provide added security beyond the basic needs of most businesses.

Another line of defense against cybersecurity threats is security information and event management (SIEM) software. These programs analyze data moving in and out of a network to identify potential threats. SIEM programs can observe data in real-time across a company's network to spot and quarantine threats before they cause harm.

Utilize Proactive Supply Chain Partners

Not only is protecting yourself from potential online threats an important part of running a business today, you need to ensure that your supply chain partners are also being proactive. Do they have the systems in place to prevent a problem before it arises? Are they aware of email scams and are they educating their employees on how to identify them?

Due to the data exchanged between shippers and their service providers, these are all relevant concerns that both parties need to keep in mind. 

Averitt, for example, utilizes a variety of premium programs that are designed to protect our associates and customers from a variety of cybersecurity threats. In addition, we have a dedicated team focused on cybersecurity and educating our associates. With around-the-clock monitoring and the tools to keep our customers' supply chains out of harm's way, Averitt is prepared to meet the technological challenges on the horizon.