Pandemic drives rising risk of cyber attacks

Oct 1, 2021 | StorCentric

While trucking and transportation companies continue to add more advanced technologies to their back office processes, they remain a top target for possible cyber breaches and ransomware attacks as hackers seek to capitalize on any discrepancies, according to a business survey from insurance company The Travelers Companies Inc.

Released in line with October’s Cybersecurity Awareness month, the survey encompassed 1,200 business leaders from a variety of industries and showed that 59% said they worry “some or a great deal” about cyber threats, compared to medical cost inflation (53%) and increasing employee benefit costs (53%). Despite those concerns, only 61% of participants reported feeling extremely or very confident in their company’s cyber practices.

In fact, industry-wide, the percentage of respondents who said their company had already suffered a security breach where someone hacked into a system increased nearly 40% compared to 2020, to almost half (46%).

Zooming in to the transportation sector, the survey revealed that 56% of business leaders stated that they worry “a great deal or some” about cyber, computer, technology, and data breaches and risks. The industry also reports increasing concerns around security breaches (55%), potential for loss of client records (54%), and income loss due to system glitches (53%).

And a majority of leaders (60%) in the transportation industry think it is inevitable that at some point in the future, their company/organization will be the victim of a data breach or cyber-attack. In fact, one third (33%) of business leaders in the transportation industry think their business is becoming somewhat more risky with each passing year, the survey found.

While they’re worried about that impact, only 60% in the transportation sector are “extremely or very confident” their company has implemented best practices to prevent or mitigate a cyber event. Among the specific ways to fend off an attack, 78% have implemented firewall/virus protection, 75% have implemented computer password updates, and 62% have implemented background checks on employees.

Other defenses include buying cyber insurance policies (according to Travelers) or beefing up their data backup policies (according to StorCentric, a data management and IT security firm).

“Driven in large part by the Covid pandemic, massive layoffs, and record numbers of people being sent home virtually overnight to work, learn, shop and live, the number of successful cyberattacks climbed to dizzying heights,” StorCentric’s chief technology officer, Surya Varanasi, said in a release.

And hackers are getting better at beating common defense, he said. “Traditionally, the game plan has been to maintain production data storage on-site, snapshot the data, replicate to an off-site location, store it to a disk, and then move it to tape storage and/or the cloud. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this and have engineered their technology to behave accordingly. Bad actors can now rather easily use ransomware to infiltrate your network and render all forms of traditional backup useless,” Varanasi said.

According to StorCentric, the solution is to elevate backup strategy from basic to unbreakable, making backed up data immutable and eliminating any way it can be deleted or corrupted.