As a logistics service provider, you’re contracting with truckers to move your client’s goods and depending on reputable carriers to get your cargo to its final destination intact. You also depend on your carriers to take the measures necessary to prevent loss and minimize risk to the cargo, including from cyber threats. But the reality is that cargo theft continues to be costly for the industry, with estimated losses between $15 billion to $30 billion a year, according to the FBI. Cargo theft includes misdirected loads, identity theft, straight theft, fictitious pickups, broker scams, use of legitimate companies unbeknownst to the victim, cyber methods, and fraudulent carriers. Food and beverage remained the most stolen commodity in 2016, with California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee the top states for theft.
When it comes to cyber theft, criminals are getting more sophisticated and hacking into carriers’ computer systems to learn where the cargo is heading in order to intercept it. They do their homework, finding out what truckers pick up where, where the best cargo is, and breach systems by manipulating a carrier’s SAFER MCS-150 form (the FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System) and posing as the professional carrier. Often the carrier doesn’t even realize the cargo has been stolen until halfway through the process.
In fact, generally speaking, 40% of reported breaches across all industry sectors involve hacking, according to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report. The transportation sector is no different and these threats and security challenges must be addressed throughout the supply chain to ensure the safety of your client’s cargo.
On the carrier side, it’s important that the companies with which you work conduct a penetration test to see if and how vulnerable their systems are to hackers, and to determine what measures need to be put into place to secure their data. Warren Westrup, director of IoT Engineering/Architecture at Verizon Wireless, recommends that carriers take these measures to help curb cargo theft:
- Be vigilant and proactive regarding security.
- Make people the first line of defense – training is important. Learn how to spot an attack and what to do.
- Only keep data on a “need-to-know” basis – limit access to data.
- Patch promptly. Make sure IT systems are up to date with antivirus firmware.
- Encrypt sensitive data.
- Use two-factor authentication.
- Don’t forget physical security.
Implementation of these measures not only applies to your carriers but also to your firm, as well, in order to help prevent cargo theft. Speak to your carriers to ensure they are doing all they can to prevent hackers from getting into their systems. Look at your own system and data-protection protocols to ensure you have robust cyber security in place. In addition, look at how well are you protected in the event your client’s data is breached on your system.
About Roanoke Trade
Roanoke Trade is a leading provider of insurance solutions for transportation and logistics providers. We can provide you with both risk mitigation and risk transfer programs and strategies to protect your cargo in the event of a loss such as theft, and help you prevent losses from occurring in the first place. For more information about our products and services, contact one of our Roanoke Trade professionals at 1-800- ROANOKE (800-762- 6653).