Cybersecurity in the Logistics Industry

Cybersecurity in the Logistics Industry

May 15, 2022 / Kron

Today, the digitalization trend, deeply affecting both social and business life, restarts the process for the logistics industry and makes things much easier. With the digitalization of the supply chain, transparency, speed, and cost advantage increase the technology interest of the companies. The transportation industry now prefers to track the goods it transports and store the data of its owners in the cloud using IoT. However, cyber attackers continue their work and are looking for a way to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of institutions in Information and Communication Technologies. The digital footprint resulting from the data storage in the cloud is a clear target for cyber attacks. Establishing and implementing cybersecurity policies to ensure the continuity of daily workflow and the security of business data has gradually become an increasing need for companies involved in the supply chain.

Cyber Attacks Against Logistics Sector Draws Attention

The logistics industry, which is experiencing its golden age with the COVID-19 epidemic, is a potential target for cyber attacks, like any industry that benefits from cloud storage. Researchers of Intel 471, one of the leading intelligence providers of cybercrime, emphasize that the possible cybersecurity crisis in the supply chain will have a very bad effect on the global consumer economy and state that they have identified various network access brokers selling credentials they claim to belong to logistics companies. Cybercriminals claim to have obtained the credentials from vulnerabilities in remote access solutions.

Moreover, cyber attackers threaten the world's leading companies. For example, Expeditors, known as one of the logistics giants of the world, has been trying to cope with a profoundly serious cyber attack since February 2022. The Seattle-based company officially acknowledged the attack but did not confirm whether it was a ransomware event. The company states that the cyberattack has significantly affected some of its operating systems and its operations continue to slow its operations worldwide. The logistics company, which generated $10.1 billion in revenue last year alone, says it shut down most operating systems globally after noticing the cyberattack.

Another example of cyberattacks in the logistics industry was announced by Swiss airport management service Swissport, last month. The company claims that the BlackCat ransomware group carried out the ransomware attack that affected IT systems. Cyber ​​attacks, which are known to disrupt IT services and announced by multiple ports in Belgium and the Netherlands, are just a few of the reported cyber attacks on the logistics industry. Revealing cyber threats in the logistics sector, detecting security vulnerabilities, and taking necessary precautions for security are responsible for preventing the attacks.

Operational and Security Challenges in Logistics

Possible security vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure of logistics sector can lead to irreparable dangers such as the loss of data in the system and even theft and misuse. Cyber attacks, which have many consequences from material damage to the brand image damages, may even cause the institution to be punished. The operational and security difficulties in logistics can be summarized under several headings. These challenges firstly cause increased operational costs.

If data breaches and ransomware attacks cannot be prevented, the supply chain suffers financially. Designing cybersecurity protocols to be implemented prevents threats such as ransomware attacks and reduces the risk of increase in operational costs.

Another difficulty in security is considered to be the increased risk of operational interruptions. Recognizing security vulnerabilities and concentrating on privileged task automation is essential for the continuity of the operation to prevent potential dangers of unauthorized access to the supply chain. Experts reveal that the majority of the security vulnerabilities are caused by general purpose computers used in the organization and connecting to internal networks from outside. The Privileged Access Management (PAM) approach against such dangers is one of the leading measures to be taken against operational interruptions caused by cybersecurity in the logistics sector.

Institutions operating in the logistics industry agree that critical infrastructure protection is related to the security of systems that directly follow the processes in the supply chain. People working in the critical infrastructure sector are required to comply with regulations that demonstrate they meet cybersecurity standards. The fact that the sector operates in accordance with the relevant standards and regulations are a few of the operational and security challenges. In terms of access and data security, methods such as privileged account login management, central password management, two-factor authentication, or data masking ensure that institutions comply with the necessary standards and regulations.

Security Vulnerabilities Encountered in the Logistics Industry

With the development in the logistics sector, the number of users and applications accessing the data included in the procurement process from within the organization and remotely has also increased. There is access to cloud data of many privileged and administrative accounts, from support personnel to maintenance personnel, from remote vendors to corporate and collective applications, in order to maintain its operation effectively and efficiently. The increasing number of privileged accounts makes these accounts difficult to manage and makes their control systems an open target for cyber attackers.

One of the security vulnerabilities in the industry is the use of applications with hard-coded credentials. The incorporation of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment into the logistics industry along with the IoT can lead to an increase in the number of users with hard-coded credentials, thus leading to remote malicious use of the system.

Another vulnerability is defined as the use of shared accounts. It is foreseen that the logistics sector will mostly work with the help of COTS / IoT technology in the future, and accordingly the use of shared accounts will become widespread. The increase in the number of shared accounts and the number of privileges assigned to these accounts also makes it difficult to track the movements of the parties involved in the operation chain.

Finally, the invisibility of users with remote access is important among the security vulnerabilities in the logistics industry. The development of technology used in the operational part of the logistics industry makes it easier for industry employees to work in remote cooperation. Remote processes are sessions that occur with an unsecured and unsecured remote connection, sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks, depending on the duration of the migration, and can leave the system vulnerable to ransomware attacks.

Cybersecurity Tips for the Logistics and Transportation Industry

In order to provide cybersecurity in the logistics sector, the existence of cyber threats must first be accepted. Difficulties may arise from interaction with external partners over uncontrollable networks during the migration process. Applications such as secure remote access and network segmentation help tackle the challenges. Some of the measures that can be taken to ensure data security and protect the company against cyber attacks are as follows: training company employees to be aware of cyber threats, using multi-factor authentication and strong passwords, keeping software up-to-date to prevent security vulnerabilities, investing in cybersecurity applications, and frequently back up files on the cloud to protect them from ransomware.

Ensuring privileged account access security to prevent cyber threats and prevent the most common security vulnerabilities in the logistics industry also plays an important role in preventing data breaches. The most effective way to secure authorized accounts on-premises or in the cloud is through Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions. Our PAM product Single Connect, reduces the risks that may occur by acting as a mechanism that monitors the sessions performed by privileged accounts with the Privilege Session Manager module.

On the other hand, IoT devices has an important role in the digital transformation of the logistics industry. Applications such as Database Access Manager and Privilege Task Automation can record database access to privileged accounts connected to IoT devices, as well as automate routine operations. Protection layers such as Dynamic Password Controller and Two-Factor Authentication, ensure the secure management of identity and password information, and protect the credentials of privileged accounts with difficult passwords and additional confirmation steps. Thus, these accounts are prevented from being internal and external threats.

Today, where cyber attacks are more devastating than ever before, like any other sector, it becomes inevitable to take cybersecurity measures for the logistics as well. You too can benefit from a PAM product that includes components such as Privileged Session Manager, Dynamic Password Controller, Database Access Manager, Privileged Task Automation, Data Masking, and Two-Factor Authentication to protect all the components in the supply chain against any possible cyber threat. You can protect your critical data with end-to-end data and access security solutions like Single Connect.

Feel free to contact us for more information about Single Connect, and you can ask any questions to our teammates about our product.

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