Fleet management has become smarter and more sophisticated in terms of the systems available today including the use of GPS, telematics, data and other coordination systems that interlink entire fleets with the cloud. However, with this sophistication of systems comes the risk of cyber threats, which will continue to grow as more devices connect to the ever expanding Internet of Things (IoT).
It might be hard to believe that threat actors would target a fleet management system but Mark Murrell, co-owner of online truck driver training provider CarriersEdge, wrote an article explaining the reasons why the trucking industry is an optimal target for hackers:
Murrell explains that trucking is a high dollar business with relatively large amounts of cash or credit available, and they’re used to paying large bills and invoices. Just-in-time supply chains are also sensitive to delays. If a threat actor is successful executing a ransomware attack, they can extract a higher payment than by targeting small and midsize companies in other, lower dollar industries. He also pointed out that trucking companies typically have weak information technology (IT) policies and management and they may not invest in modern computer and network equipment. Cybersecurity isn’t yet a top concern for trucking companies, at least when compared to driver and road safety. Still, hackers can compromise in-vehicle systems potentially taking control over the engine and assistance systems.
There are several measures that fleets can consider to minimize the likelihood of these threats including encrypting data, using multi-factor authentication (MFA) and even Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) to prevent entry to vehicles and onboard systems being hacked.
With this type of security in place, it can also help to minimize operational risk and the business impact by including cyber insurance as part of an overall risk protection strategy.
Traditionally, cyber insurance has been an ‘add-on’ to existing commercial policies or only provided 3rd party cover in the event of a breach. There’s a big risk of being underinsured or inadequately protected. Upstream’s 2020 Automotive Cybersecurity Report recorded a 600% increase in automotive cybersecurity incidents in the last three years. So it's more important than ever that Fleet Operators protect their business from cyber incidents and also utilize tailored cyber insurance services as part of a comprehensive defense strategy against threat actors.