The digitization of the industry is reaching all sectors, and more and more operations are carried out online. The amount of data that companies generate and store has grown exponentially, and with it the vulnerability of this information and its fraudulent use. This is why cybersecurity is beginning to take on relevance at all levels of business and productive sectors.

What is cybersecurity?

This is the protection of an entity's valuable information, which is stored in the different interconnected devices that make up the company's technology. The increase in e-commerce and globalization has caused the logistics sector to grow in importance, becoming the companies that connect customers, services and products by land, sea and air. All this leads to a greater number of data, which means strengthening the security of these data.

Wannacry, the cyberattack that shook Maersk

It's not just the customers. The sector's own companies also want to handle as much information as possible: know where shipments are, geolocate their means of transport or the status of packages in the adunas or logistics centers. We're moving into industry 4.0. The one in which everything is connected, where purchase orders are automated and the needs of the users arrive via Internet. The various companies filter and store this data, creating valuable information that is susceptible to cyber attacks. One of the most popular was Wannacry. This was carried out worldwide in April 2017, taking advantage of a vulnerability in the operating systems, and consisted of blocking data in exchange for a rescue. This led to the collapse of many companies because they could not operate.

One of the most affected companies in the logistics sector was shipping giant Maerks. He saw how he lost the location of his shipments, the customs status or the merchandise in his containers. In the report for the third quarter of 2017, Maersk declared losses of more than 300m USD. The cyber attack mainly hit Maersk Line, the APM and Damco terminals.

Cybersecurity in our country

In Spain we have a body in charge of advising and dictating the regulations on this matter. The CNPIC (National Center for Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity) and the PIC law. They protect key strategic sectors and advise against cybercrime. This centre is coordinated with the specialized units of the State Security Forces and Corps. Those who are in charge of investigating and prosecuting these kinds of crimes.

Security in the logistics and transport sector

Specifically speaking of this sector, the risks you face in an attack that seeks to steal your data are:

  • Loss of confidential information. Data from customers or suppliers, as well as routings, are important documents, key in the development of the activity.
  • Cessation of activity. Given the impossibility of controlling the state of the goods and maintaining contact with the rest of those involved in the development of the activity.
  • Impairment of the image. The knowledge of this fact causes a fall in trust on the part of customers.

To prevent all these possible damages we must have a security plan: a series of measures that adapt to the level of security required.

Carrying out the cybersecurity plan

We must analyse the current state of security in order to set ourselves the objectives we want to achieve. It is important to take into account all departments to implement a manual of good practices.

From there we start the various phases, from the realization of the plan, to the training of employees and adaptation. It is a continuous process, which must always be active and evolving.

Cybersecurity is a business necessity.

It is important to keep data and equipment safe in order to avoid problems, theft or collapse. That's why everyone, from the state to the employees, must be involved to keep all information safe.

Various measures can be taken, such as having the equipment updated and relying on software with a high level of security and constant evolution. The cyber security is becoming increasingly important in all sectors, including logistics. The fact that the control of all goods is done online makes it key.