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Shoring up trucking’s cyber defenses


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Sean Kilcarr  /  Fleet Owner  /  June 2, 2016

I know, I know; I’ve been walking the information technology (IT) beat for a while now (go here, here, and here to see what I mean) but as trucking continues to become a more data-driven and “digitized” enterprise, the issue of “cyber defense” is only going to become more critical.

[You only need read this story to understand just the kinds of damage hacking can create for a motor carrier.]

And by the look of things, the business world as a whole – trucking included – needs to beef up its cyber defenses to a far greater degree.

According to a recent survey of 200 IT professionals conducted by research firm IDG Connect on behalf of security software firm PC Pitstop, some 46% said their organizations experienced malware attacks that severely affected their operations – despite 88% them spending over $100,000 a year on data security, with 39% spending over $500,000 annually.

That suggests that the security hardware and software defenses businesses are investing in often fail to prevent malicious software viruses or “malware” from executing on their systems, noted Bob Johnson, IDG’s principal analyst, in a statement.

Ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and advanced persistent threats (APTs) like phishing and ‘zero-day’ attacks are all increasing in volume and intensity,” he explained. “U.S. companies need to evaluate their current data security infrastructure to determine how and where the risk of their business being disrupted by these attacks can best be minimized.”

"The security problem is getting consistently worse, the consequences are getting consistently larger, and the frequency is growing,” added Rob Cheng, CEO at PC Pitstop. “It’s time to consider a new architecture—the existing model isn’t working.”

IDG’s poll also found that few of the organizations participating in the survey rely on a single data security product as a foundation for their cyber defenses. Most supplement endpoint security solutions – typically those from Microsoft (57%), McAfee (51%) and Symantec (46%) – with additional network appliances (82%), email appliances (56%) and DDoS protection solutions (55%).

Data security incidents inevitably prompt IT decision makers to re-evaluate their existing defenses, IDG’s Johnson noted. Indeed, IDG found that 91% of U.S. organizations would consider implementing a “white list” security solution, even one that blocks the occasional good file or results in a false positive, as long as that solution could be proved to deliver superior protection against rogue files containing malware.

Something to think about as trucking – as well as the rest of the business world – is poised to become only more and more digitized down the road.

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