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Digitalisation of Logistics: An Efficiency Dream. A Cyber Security Nightmare.

17 August 2017 13:58

There’s a saying that floats around a lot amongst the younger generations of the business world these days -- and that’s the “fear of missing out”. Apply that saying to the logistics and supply chain sector, and you’ll find that the “fear” is very, very real.

Animated image of a world map with smart cargo ships, trains and planes transporting goods across countries.

The Digital Revolution

In short, the fear represents a sense that others are doing things you aren't. This couldn't be more relevant for the logistics sector, as businesses everywhere are looking to digitally transform their operations to keep up with customer demand, business expectations and global competition. After all, change is one of the only consistent parts of a business, and turning to digital transformation has now become imperative in order to keep up. 

Take a look at DHL. Only recently have they hitched the bandwagon of implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) technology into their warehouse operations with an aim to optimise efficiency and physical safety. There’s no doubt that this will offer a ton of benefits for them, as it’s already doing with many other businesses (there’s a good reason why 67% of CEOs in the Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the centre of their corporate strategy).

But the digital transformation isn’t just about embracing new technology, it’s about a transformation in thought and culture. And with the level of change occurring in the logistics and supply chain sector, cyber security has to keep up the pace. Digitalisation is exposing organisations to greater cyber security risks, and even more avenues for hackers to run riot.

Of course, putting in place the right cyber security technology is always going to help in the defence against cybercrime. But the fact that the majority of breaches are still caused by human error and poor practice from users is something that can’t continue to be brushed under the carpet. IT security awareness is needed now more than ever, with past security awareness programs falling well short of what is needed.

So, as security starts to become a headache of digitalisation,  how can the logistics sector go about implementing a security awareness program?

It's Time To Raise Awareness

A common mistake made when aiming to get security awareness training off the ground is when failing to evaluate the current awareness level of end users. Not only is this a great way of finding your company’s awareness strengths, it’s also a way of finding the much-needed areas of improvement (areas which might need to be covered quickly!).

Checking if employees are aware of the established policies and procedures, as well as learning how your users utilise technology, the kind of data they use and their ability to spot a cyber-attack, is a good start. Evaluate their knowledge of organisational defence strategies and the cyber security services in place, as well as areas of vulnerability.

Understanding risks and driving an organisation-wide security culture is impossible without effective education in a training program. Focusing on all of the relevant threats, whether it be phishing or physical security, helps to avoid potential risks, bad practice and harmful cyber security myths (such as a common misbelief that a cyber attack wouldn't target the average user). Overall, the aim of educating employees is to transform them from the weakest link, into one of the strongest.

Security awareness programs are, well, pretty useless if you're unable to determine it's effectiveness. Testing users and gathering metrics on their progress allow a clear view of whether or not security awareness is improving. Mock phishing campaigns are a great way of seeing which departments and individuals are most susceptible to these kinds of attacks.

Overall, putting in place cutting edge technology solutions will be of little use if your employees fail to understand what is required of them to protect sensitive company data and resources. Educating your employees plays a vital role in successfully securing the modern digital organisation, especially within the logistics sector.

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