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Study: transport and logistics businesses vulnerable to cybersecurity risks!

April 30, 2019

Almost two-thirds of companies in the transport and logistics sector agree that they must strengthen their cyber-defence capabilities, but say they lack the skills and technology to do so. This is the overall picture painted by the latest study undertaken on behalf of Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications.

The study adds that businesses recognise their approaches to cybersecurity must be strengthened, but are not yet taking the practical steps to safeguard the deployment of their industrial connected devices.

The study, which surveyed 125 businesses across the transport industry, revealed that 64 percent of respondents reported that their processes to combat cybersecurity threats could be stronger, and two-thirds (66 percent) said more could be done to protect against mishandling of data.

However, despite recognising the enhanced security threats of industrial connected devices, just 38 percent have invested in new security technologies and only 39 percent have partnered with security specialists for assistance – indicating that not enough is being done to secure operations.

One driver for this response is a lack of relevant skills, with 59 percent of respondents reporting that they lacked staff with cybersecurity skills to deliver their deployment of industrial connected devices.

Commenting on the findings, Tara MacLachlan, vice president for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) at Inmarsat Enterprise, says: “While industrial IoT presents immensely exciting possibilities for businesses across the transport and logistics sector, it also increases the risk that they will face cybersecurity issues, and our research suggests that they are unprepared for these risks.

“A network is only as secure as its weakest point, and with industrial IoT increasing the potential surface area for cyber attacks, transport businesses must ensure that they harden every element of their IoT deployments.

“Without secure industrial IoT networks, businesses may leave themselves open to cyber attacks designed to cripple transport and logistics infrastructure, ransomware or industrial espionage.

“Truly secure industrial IoT deployments must have built-in security from the ground up. This must include secure access management, secure execution environments, enhanced data encryption, as well as smart validation and authentication between sensors, gateways and the software orchestration platform.

“As we have seen from the results of this study, not every transport business has the skills or technology capabilities to ensure an IoT solution is secure from end to end. Businesses need to collaborate with specialist providers who can offer a fully managed IoT service that considers security at every stage – from the edge sensors, gateways and orchestration platforms, to the connectivity and networks themselves,” she concludes.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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