Cyber attacks are one of the most common terms that we hear all around in this modern era. With the advancements in digital technology and connectivity across the globe through the internet, cyber-attacks have been on top of the crime list. Although all of us are very much used to digital connectivity through smartphones, computers, laptops, and other electronic devices, how many of you know about the meaning of cyber attack?
Cyber attacks are the ones that are targeted on electronic devices to access the information of an individual or an organization in an unauthorized way. In other words, Cyber attacks are the way of hacking the encrypted information of an individual or an organization available on the internet.
As the coin has two sides, although the internet is a part of our lives now in many ways, it has the other side, cyber attacks, especially in the field of logistics where more electronic devices are embedded in fleets called telematics for better communication and execution.
And lots of information about fleets, drivers, organizations, clients, and partners are being shared on the internet. So now, how to keep your fleets and information safe from cyber-attacks? In this blog, I will let you know about cybersecurity against cyber attacks on fleets in detail.
Different types of cyber attacks in the fleet
Although there are several types of cyber attacks on electronic devices and connected networks, according to truckinginfo.com, there are two most common cyber security threats that occur in fleets called “Ransomware attacks” and “Phishing Attacks”. With more digitizing processes involved in modern vehicles, these two attacks are said to be most familiar with fleets.
Modern days vehicles are more of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) which does not need any physical form of attacks, and rather they are targeted digitally by sending dangerous links through a normal message or an email that act as an entry for the hackers to access your information once you click those messages and emails from the unknown source.
Such messages and emails are the weapons for hackers to illegally access your personal, financial information on the internet. And this type of “Phishing Attack” acts as a gateway for the “Ransomware Attacks”.
If the hacker gets access to your information, he encrypts the data with a customized program that disables you from accessing your own information and devices. And the hacker threatens the affected individual or the organization asking for money or ransom in return to allow access to the information called “Ransomware Attack”.
There are various ways to avoid such threats over your fleets and the information. Fleet managers alone cannot handle these issues related to cyber security. It is a combined effort of the management and the producers of the electronic devices embedded within the vehicle and the IT sector to create a better and high-security system for the management to function efficiently against these attacks.
High-level encryptions, detecting external intrusions, and secured cloud services for storing your data are the few important ways to keep your fleets and information safe against these cyber security attacks.
Ways to protect your fleet from cyber attacks
1.Choosing the right software
Most of the fleets are connected and automated vehicles in this modern world. With advanced telematics services involved in the logistics, it is essential to keep the cyber security in mind by applying the best software with advanced encryption for the hardware to function normally without any external instructions that might block or stop the functioning.
Some reports say that cyber attacks can go to the extent that the hackers can stop the running engine from a distance and stop all other vehicle functions digitally.
As almost every function of the vehicle is controlled by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which has multiple coded information, hackers can access it and encrypt the data available on it or modify the data by causing malfunctions.
There are many telematic services involved in the vehicle for convenient, faster, and safe performances. However, there are various issues related to protecting them as well. All of these electronic devices function based on their software.
Therefore, choosing the best software which is right for your business is the key to having a healthy telematic system in your fleets.
ECUs are connected to various other networks in the vehicle right from Bluetooth, wifi connections, Controller Area Network (CAN), sensors for fuel monitoring, wipers and rear view monitor, Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports, etc., which the hackers can use as an entry point to access the heart (ECU) of the telematics system.
Knowing all these, how can a hacker get access to its software in the electronic devices of a fleet? It is by installing unauthorized software into the devices. Companies should ensure that every software that is functioning is installed from a reputed brand and it is an authorized one.
The company or the fleet manager should avoid any recommendations of the unknown software from any unknown source that can harm the fleet management resulting in heavy loss for the company.
Softwares is the very base of all the functions of the fleets in the modern-day Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs). With more electronic devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) involved in the fleet performances, regular monitoring of the devices and updating the software is a must for the vehicle apart from its other physical services provided.
With increased technologies, hackers always look for loopholes to attack the systems. Similarly, software is the most significant aspect of your fleet to be taken care of. If your software systems are not updated regularly, you can provide a loophole for hackers to attack your fleets.
The software provider always updates their products regularly to fix security-related bugs, if there are any. Hence, if you are careless and your fleets are not equipped with such updated software upgraded against security bugs, then the fleet is highly prone to cyber attacks.
That is why we recommend you to have an eye on your software and regular upgradation for highly secured connectivity and automation in the fleets.
3.Educate and Train your employees
Employees are the ones that are connected very closely to the fleets. Therefore, they must be educated and updated regularly with the ever-growing technology by conducting any training programs specially based on security risks and their management.
Employees must be aware of the risks involved with the type of system used in fleet management. Lack of knowledge of employees will lead to potential risks that can harm the fleet management very badly.
Management should ensure that office employees, drivers are updated with the basic knowledge of security management to avoid any malicious activity in the fleets.
4.Have control over your vehicles
Apart from these internal threats of the vehicles, vehicles must be monitored and parked in a safe environment. Management must ensure that the vehicles are parked only in the areas where the security cameras are implemented for better security to avoid access to unauthorized persons to enter the vehicle.
The external ports and the wireless connections of the fleets must also be protected from unauthorized access to avoid information thefts. Modern vehicles come up with the facility to get the various information about the infernal devices with just the connection of a laptop with the vehicle’s USB port.
If the vehicles are not parked safely, any unauthorized person can access the vehicle’s information and misuse it. Hence a strict control over the access of vehicles is a key factor for better security.