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Fleet Data Protection: Ways to Protect Fleet Data from Cybercrime.

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Operating a fleet management company? Or running a trucking company? Afraid that your fleet data may be susceptible to a cyberattack? In such times when cyberattacks are on the rise, we are certain you would want to ensure fleet data protection across the organization.

Unfortunately, cybercrime has been rising lately, and the COVID-19 situation hasn’t done anything to diminish this problem. If anything, it has only aggravated the cybercrime within fleet management and trucking companies.

It is upsetting to know that cybercriminals and online hackers are attacking the companies at an alarming rate, exploiting the distress and ambiguity caused by the global pandemic's unstable social and economic situation.

But how does cybercrime affect fleet management and trucking operations?

Well, there are several ways cybercriminals and hackers can obtain access to private information—including fleet management data.

Using various hacking techniques, they can hack into a fleet’s GPS systems or gain access to the control unit itself with the help of relatively cheap GPS hacking tools to produce fake GPS signals.

As soon as cybercriminals gain access, they can effortlessly take control of a fleet, including its data, making it susceptible to theft. This poses not only a serious threat to your fleet’s vehicles but also drivers’ safety.

Hence, truck owners and fleet managers must protect their fleet data from cybercriminals as they slowly begin to emerge from the global pandemic. Let’s understand more about cybercrime, how it affects fleets, and how you can keep your fleet data and drivers safe from cyberattacks.

Introduction to Cybercrime
Cybercrime refers to any illegal activity conducted through the use of a computer. It includes fraud, violating privacy, and stealing intellectual property.

Because of advanced technology, cyberattacks have been on the rise over the last few years as cybercriminals have begun using more smart tricks to steal information.

Since cybercrime takes numerous forms, from data theft to social engineering—fleet managers and truckers must learn about types of cybercrime and understand how they could affect the fleet’s important data.

Common Types of Cybercrime
As we discussed earlier, cybercrime can take various forms. From identity theft to stealing payment details, cyberattacks can come in a variety of guises. Let us take a look at the four most common types of cyberattacks.

Stealing Payment Details
Stealing payment details fall under the category of money theft. This sort of cybercrime also includes drawing off money from a bank account illegally or selling the payment card details to someone else for money.

Stealing Personal Data
Cybercriminals can also gain access to online systems and steal personal data. This can lead to identity theft. They can misuse personal information and attempt to blackmail the company owners and managers.

Stealing Confidential Business Data
Online hackers have a way of getting information without paying for it. Using expert hacking skills, they can log into company systems and gain access to company software and other business confidential data, which is crucial for the company. Within seconds, they can get their hands on the copyrighted data.

Ransomware
Cybercriminals can use ransomware attacks to block all fleet operations by putting a lock on computer systems until the payment is delivered to them.

Espionage Attempt
Hackers can also use espionage attempts to steal data from fleet management companies. This particular cybercrime does not focus on profit but on stealing intellectual property for competitive advantage.

Hacking Classified Data
Fleet management and trucking companies can land in hot waters when the confidential or sensitive fleet data falls into the wrong hands. Hackers can steal classified information and cause the company to face major financial losses and damage its reputation.

How Can Cyberattacks Affect Your Fleet?
Cyberattacks can severely affect your fleet operations by stealing important and sensitive fleet data. Whatever the type of cybercrime and the reason, we should not forget that cyberattacks can result in huge financial losses and reputational damage for fleet companies.

As per a 2021 report, it was found that almost 50 percent of the leading car manufacturers have been a target of a ransomware attack. It has also been said that 17% of automotive suppliers are likely to be hit by a cyberattack in the coming time.

In fact, most fleet management, trucking, and telematics companies are vulnerable to cyber threats and dangers. No wonder a cyberattack can wreak havoc on an organization. From damaged reputation to huge legal fines to massive financial losses, a company can typically go through severe stages of turmoil.

Business owners and fleet managers are responsible for setting up preventative measures against cyberattacks in such dire situations. Once a cyberattack has hit the company, managers need to act quickly to minimize its impact on the entire organization.

While doing so, they may be forced to stay away from their usual responsibilities, potentially bringing the company’s operations to a halt. A lot needs to be done to recover from the impact of a cyberattack.

Managers need to recover the assets and data, manage the company’s reputation from further damage, and deal with legal problems. All of this can be highly costly for the company.

Fleet Data Protection: Steps to Protect Fleet Data from Cyberattacks
Ensuring fleet data protection from cyberattacks becomes an utmost responsibility for every fleet manager. While it is practically impossible to mitigate all the risks associated with cybercrime, fleet managers can still conduct frequent vulnerability assessments to identify potential cyber threats.

Regular risk assessments can help fleet managers identify cyber threats on time and then implement preventative measures to protect the company’s data. This can help the managers be well prepared and execute the preventive steps to combat the cyberattack.

Below, we have outlined the steps you can take to ensure fleet data protection.

Understand the potential risks and explain them to the stakeholders in your company.
Conduct regular security tests by using different security applications each time.
Minimize the risk of data theft. For instance, invest in secure digital platforms rather than depending on paper documents.
Set strong passwords for your accounts and back up your data, especially for your software.
Opt for the software wisely. Make sure it has password protection options to keep your fleet data safe and secure.
Keep your software up-to-date. New updates come with improved security features that can help in ensuring fleet data protection.
Make security a permanent part of your company culture by emphasizing good communication, best practices, and compliance.
Completely control access to the vehicles with proper lock systems in place, fleet tracking, and scheduling. This will help you track who has access to the vehicles and the software deployed into them.
Invest in a security team for your fleet. Consider forming an in-house or outsourced Vehicle Security Operations Center (VSOC).
Consider subscribing to Bug Bounty platforms. Through this platform, you can constantly look for the flaws in the security systems of the fleet and discover the weak points with the help of white hackers.
Last but not least, always run tests on your security system to see how vulnerable they are and how they can handle the impact of a cyberattack. Preparation is a critical aspect in minimizing the impact of the cyberattack, so the more you can do, the safer you can be.
With these steps in place, you can ensure fleet data protection. At the same time, you can rest assured that your company is taking the proper preventative measures to keep the fleet data safe and secure.

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Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.

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