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The June 27th cyber attack on Danish shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk’s computer system brought forth a lot of opinions about the digitisation of logistics companies and called the vulnerability of such systems into question.

With logistics companies making the transition to automated systems in order to be able to use advanced analytics to remain on top of their customers and their needs, hackers are beginning to take note of the opportunities to cause disruption.

The problem lies in a company’s digital logistics system being fragmented. Hackers will target the weak link in your chain, i.e. the most vulnerable area of your system and set that as their focus for attacks. There have already been instances of “malware that allows for hacking of delivery robots and parcel lockers. Drones can be hacked as well as autonomous cars, and as these are used more and more for deliveries the potential for hijack increases.” The logic behind targeting transportation giants is simple, why go to the effort of hacking a bank, with all its defences, when goods are always so much more vulnerable while in transit?

In the past, cyber security hasn’t been a priority for logistics and transportation companies simply because the threat was minimal. But, as the direct risks grow more serious, (116 targeted global attacks per day!) companies need to begin investing in more secure systems and establish risk management procedures.

Installing security systems, firewalls and early detection systems are basic level precautions. Companies need to be forward-thinking when it comes to safer logistics.

The key risks that could result from cyber hacks include (but aren’t limited to) being unable to access IT systems and networks, loss or corruption of data, financial loss or damage to reputation.

With the digital age seducing more industries into taking their systems online, companies need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to make hackers’ jobs a lot harder.



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