Connectivity, automation and electrification have become the most dominant automotive technology trends and are set to dominate the industry over the coming five to ten years. As fleet owners have been increasingly relying on “connected” trucks to improve their uptime, safety, fuel efficiency and tracking, Frost & Sullivan forecasts that by 2025, 55% of all trucks in North America will be connected fleets.

As technology advances, the potential for vulnerabilities to be exploited also grows; every connected technology — from telematics and remote diagnostics to in-cab software and on-board IoT devices like cameras — adds new cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Fleet owners and operators do need to consider the implications; how can they control cybersecurity risks while still embracing innovation?

Heavy vehicles have connected more widely through satellite and cellular communications linking to telematics, fleet management and engine management applications for quite some time. Consequently, heavy vehicles currently have more avenues for remote access than light vehicles. Coupled with a high level of electronic homogeneity within commercial trucking fleets, an adversary could easily develop viable exploits that could attack large numbers of vehicles simultaneously. The benefits that connecting fleets brings must be balanced against cyber, safety and continuity risk to ensure a resilient business.

Most threat actors have financial motivations and fleet operators are mainly concerned about safe operations. Considering how economies rely on ground transportation, the implications of a cyberattack on fleets could be devastating. It's wise for fleet operators to generally view their own cybersecurity — and that of their suppliers — in the larger context of business continuity. It's recommended that fleet operators and leasing companies have an incident response plan that considers what would happen if a cyber incident occurred, the impact on fleet business operations and also the systems that suppliers use as well. 

Shield’s Up is running simulated cyber attacks to assess the impact and responses of fleet operators in your area and are accepting applications from suitable fleet operators to participate in the three hour simulations. Participants will receive a free Incident Response Plan that they can utilize within their own company. If fleet operations and security is an area that you’re responsible for in your business, please complete the application here.