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Logistics firms warned to remain vigilant against cyber crime

By Ian | Oct, 12, 2023 | Latest News


Logistics firms have been highlighted as businesses susceptible to the rising rates of cybercrime.


Firms like hauliers are being urged to take cyber security seriously to prevent against losing or compromising the data and systems essential to their day-to-day running.


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, and National Crime Agency (NCA) have issued a joint warning around the rise in ransomware and extortion attacks on businesses in the UK.


Ransomware is malware which prevents users from accessing a device and/or the data it stores. Criminals deploying this demand a ransom in order for devices to be unlocked or data decrypted or not leaked. Extortion attacks target the data held within devices or systems.


Studies found that attacks of this nature were on the rise, with a 2023 cyber threat report from SonicWall stating ransomware had increased 62% year over year in 2020 and another 105% in 2021, while a recent government survey found that 83% of businesses had experienced phishing attempts.


In the ‘Ransomware, Extortion and the Cyber Crime Ecosystem’ report, the NCSC and NCA have warned how these attacks can disrupt operations and compromise customer data as well as target finances. 66% of respondents to SonicWall’s 2022 Threat Mindset Survey said they were more concerned about cyberattacks in their organisation than in previous years, with 91% of respondents stating they are most concerned about ransomware attacks.


And the logistics sector has been highlighted as having particular vulnerabilities, given how data is essential for efficient and effective day-to-day operations. Both protective and preventative actions against potential attacks are vital.


Prevention, Protection & Collaboration


Despite the threats cyber crime can pose, most attacks are relatively unsophisticated, preying on the likelihood of victims having “poor cyber hygiene”.


To improve this, businesses need to understand the cyber crime ‘ecosystem’ – comprising services, platforms, distributors and affiliates – which can enable ransomware attacks to happen, the NCSC and NCA have said. This can support in making informed decisions around the nature and scale of security measures to be put in place.


As well as measures for protection and prevention, the report calls for collaboration too. Businesses should be transparent around the nature and frequency of attempted cyber attacks, for a bigger picture to be built around threat levels.


How can I protect my logistics business from cyber crime?


Government guidance states that measures like updated malware protection, cloud back-ups, passwords, restricted admin rights and network firewalls will offer enhanced protection – as outlined in the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023*.


The NCSC also has a free Early Warning service available for businesses to sign up to, to be notified of suspicious activity in their networks.


X2 and E2 Technology Solutions view:


Ian Cramb, Managing Director of X2 said “While investing in additional infrastructure and preventative measures like cyber security can be costly, the financial and reputational risks easily justify the expense.”


“Given these types of attacks rely on vulnerabilities across the ecosystem, it’s also important to know that others you’re working alongside are taking cyber security seriously too. Discussing your preventative measures with supply chain partners and datacentres, and making these regular check-ins is key to enhancing and maintaining security.”


“There can be added benefits from enhanced cyber security measures too. Cyber resilience can support supply chain resilience. And just as a successful attack could compromise a business’s reputation, good security can bolster a reputation.”


Scott Phillips, Director of X2’s IT partner E2 Technology Solutions, said “we have worked with X2 for many years providing IT support and consultancy and assisting them in maintaining a high level of cyber defences, they have always been aware of cyber threats and proactive in their approach to defence. They have, for many years had a layered cyber defence system with regular reviews far exceeding both GDPR and Cyber Essentials requirements and working with them to achieve Cyber Essentials Certification will allow them to showcase their dedication to preventing cyber attacks and protecting client data.”


Scott Phillips also said “There is a common misconception that cyber-attacks only target large businesses, government organisations or the wealthy. However, this is not the case – many cyber-attacks target individuals within businesses of all sizes, and in a lot of cases for personal information, through phishing emails, fake websites, social media profiling and data mining and open-source information in order to exploit your business. Why do they do this? Because while you may not think you have anything valuable, you will have links to other contacts or businesses that are more valuable, and you could just be a way in plus your identity is, well, priceless. Kevin Mithick (One of the most famous hackers in the world) stated “amateurs hack computers, professionals hack people’ and this is very true and with X2 starting their staff cyber awareness training in addition to their other systems, their clients can rest assured not only are they working with a great 4PL Logistics provider, but that their personal and business data is in safe hands.”.


X2 is a leading transport and logistics solutions provider. From single loads to full logistics management, X2 operates an extensive partner network and own fleet to provide a flexible, scalable nationwide solution tailored to customer-specific needs.


Find out more about what we do here, or speak to our team about how we can help with your logistics management or transport needs here.



Read the NCSC and NCA’s white paper in full here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/whitepaper/ransomware-extortion-and-the-cyber-crime-ecosystem/
*Department for Science, Innovation & Technology – https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/cyber-security-breaches-survey-2023/cyber-se  curity-breaches-survey-2023