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Why Cybercriminals Target The Freight Industry

The transport of goods across the sea and across countries requires an intricate network of data to effectively get items delivered by their due date. Because the manufacturing and sale point of so many products is often a far distance apart, the freight industry is critical to supplying necessary goods to citizens across the globe. As such, it’s highly susceptible to disruption by cybercriminals.

What is a Cybercriminal?

A cybercriminal is someone who commits a crime using a computer, an electronic network or a networked device. Common cybercrime against citizens includes fraudulent emails, credit card theft and identity theft.

Because cybercriminals can also attack businesses, the freight industry is particularly vulnerable. Those driving goods across the country may all have multiple tools that allow them to confirm delivery points or choose the best routes based on weather. If a smart phone or a tablet is compromised, that delivery schedule could be maliciously altered or canceled, causing serious supply line issues.

Of course, a cyberattack on any form of transport can also put drivers, barge workers and airline employees at risk. People and products alike are in hazard when cybercriminals go after the freight industry.

A Look at Why Cybercriminals Target the Freight Industry

One of the greatest challenges in protecting the freight industry is that those who target it have a wide variety of goals. Some hackers may be single operators attempting to create mayhem. Others may be looking to capture computer systems and data before attempting to ransom them back to the cybercriminal.

Other cybercriminals may be terrorists, working to create havoc among the citizens of another nation by stopping the flow of goods through the national pipeline of trucks, trains and planes. Lax security and poor email hygiene could lead to a shutdown of major seaports, airports or train hubs.

Cybercriminals Get a Lot of Bang For Their Buck

Another reason that cybercriminals are targeting the freight industry is that one network failure can cause a great deal of mayhem. Overloaded workers, under stress since 2020, may not feel they have the time attend security training or follow new protocols.

In many seaports around the globe, the arrangement of incoming barges is a highly detailed process that takes a lot of coordination. Many computer systems have to talk to one another to make sure that ships pass safely through locks or into ports for unloading. A single failure of communication could lead to a costly freight bottleneck.

Taking out one communication system between a barge and those on the dock could lead to major backups. It could also lead to catastrophic crashes, particularly if weather conditions make it unsafe for many ships to gather. In such cases, cybercriminals intent on causing great financial damage with no regard for human life could coordinate an attack that leaves barges trapped in a port during hurricane season.

How to Prevent Cyber Attacks in the Freight Industry

Technology tends to leapfrog over time. New software and better computer systems may block attempted hackings, but hackers working alone can often quickly find a way around such protections. Band-aids can be applied, but multiple hackers working from many angles can quickly overcome these patches. There definitely needs to be an extra safety emphasis put on the cybersecurity of your tech in this case.

An increase in penalties and an understanding of the terrorist threat created by cybercriminals must be considered. It is entirely possible that cybercriminals could target international organizations and do damage to the security and stability of countries across the globe.

The freight industry is stretched extensively across the globe. Because many developed nations don’t produce many of their own goods but buy product manufactured across the sea or over the border, the supply chain in developed nations is actually quite fragile. Strong penalties for cybercriminals attacking the freight industry, including charges of domestic or international terrorism, may offer freight companies better support.


About the author

Taylor McKnight works as an author for National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc.

BtoB Central Staff
BtoB Central Staff
Btobcentral is dedicated to business news.


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