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Navigating the Cybersecurity Landscape in Intelligent Transportation: Four Key Pillars to Ensure Safety and Compliance

Cybersecurity Concept

The realm of transportation is undergoing a seismic shift towards greater intelligence, relying on cutting-edge software systems, AI and advanced technology to meet evolving customer demands. With same-day delivery becoming the new norm, transportation leaders are racing to enhance efficiency. From the bread and butter technology like transportation management systems to more complex intelligence like autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, RFID and more, transportation organizations are able to accomplish much more and at a much faster rate than they could a couple of decades ago.

While the rise in smart transportation brings about some exciting possibilities for the logistics industry, it also comes with great responsibility. One of those core responsibilities is a robust cybersecurity strategy. As technology reshapes the industry, cybersecurity assumes various angles of importance that go beyond the conventional narrative. In this blog, we will explore the four key facets of cybersecurity for a transportation team.

Prioritizing the Human Element

Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue. Beyond the technical aspects, cybersecurity in transportation increasingly involves the human factor. Employees at all levels of the organization play a crucial role in safeguarding data and systems. Thus, a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy must include ongoing training and awareness programs that empower staff to become the first line of defense against cyber threats.

Several disciplines across the organization should be involved in the cybersecurity approach, including engineering, operations and management. Leverage engaging content to train the staff in each area and test their response. This will increase their knowledge level and sentiment toward cybersecurity and enable them to keep the organization’s data safe.

There are several ways to train your staff to better recognize cybersecurity threats:

  • Enroll them in professional cybersecurity training that teaches them common breach tactics and how to avoid falling victim.
  • Send phishing email tests to see if they can catch an in-the-moment scam.
  • Educate them on the technology systems they use in their daily roles and how they can protect the data in them.

Planning Across the End-to-End Supply Chain

Transportation is deeply intertwined with supply chain operations. Ensuring the security of the entire supply chain is a growing concern. Cyberattacks on suppliers can disrupt transportation services, making it vital for organizations to assess and fortify the cybersecurity posture of their supply chain partners.

There are a few ways to enhance cybersecurity across your end-to-end supply chain:

  • Determine where, when and how you are sharing sensitive data with your partners. This could include a software vendor, 3PL, carrier and even your customers.
  • Make sure all data is passing hands in a secure manner. enVista’s security management team can help you determine what tools will best keep your data safe.
  • Implement access controls to limit who has access to sensitive data.

Maintaining Regulatory Compliance

Transportation companies must navigate a labyrinth of regulations and compliance standards. Meeting these requirements often involves addressing cybersecurity concerns. Staying compliant while maintaining robust cybersecurity practices is a delicate balancing act that requires careful planning and execution.

One example of this is the recent passing of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) 204. FSMA 204 is going to require certain organizations to maintain much more detailed and organized product data. It is incredibly important that while transportation leaders are determining how they will collect the data and where they will store it, they also consider how they will keep that data safe. If new technology will need to be implemented to gather the data, consider how you will secure that technology to ensure it isn’t susceptible to being hacked. Also consider how you will train your employees to use that technology so they are able to keep the data it holds safe.

To ensure you have covered all of your bases, do an audit of the following across your organization:

  • All regulations that apply to your organization
  • The data involved in meeting each regulation, including how you gather the data, where you store it and how you use it
  • The technology, whether it be a TMS, RFID scanner, etc. that is used to collect, store and leverage your data
  • The security measures that have been taken to secure each of those technology items

Maintaining Data Privacy in Transit

In much the same vein as maintaining the security of regulatory compliance data, the transportation sector has strict data privacy regulations, such as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA/CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Companies are collecting vast amounts of sensitive data, including customer information and proprietary logistics data, and protecting this data against breaches and unauthorized access is a top priority.

For companies that process the personal data of residents of the European Union, the GDPR requires robust data protection measures be in place, such as data processing consent, individual data rights and the secure handling of personal information during transit. For businesses that collect the personal information of California residents, CPRA requires them to maintain strict data standards and accessibility. Maintaining compliance with these data regulations is important not only to avoid repercussions, but also to keep your customers’ and employees’ trust and loyalty.

There are several ways to protect data in transit:

  • Using encryption protocols for web traffic and VPNs for network connections will provide an extra barrier to sensitive data.
  • Data masking and tokenization techniques that leverage pseudonyms during transit will keep your data safe in the event that it is intercepted.
  • Multi-factor authentication for user access to systems and services that transmit sensitive data will ensure that only the right people have access to your data.
  • Data loss pretention solutions can detect and prevent unauthorized data transfers or leaks during transit.

The act of transporting goods to your customer is a delicate process with many moving pieces. It is critical that your data does not get lost, damaged or stolen during that process. Focusing on these four pillars of a multi-faceted cybersecurity approach is the first step toward a safer organization. Contact enVista to learn more tody.

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