Cybercrime primer

21 January 2020

Otherwise known as computer-oriented crime, there are three major types of cybercrime: crimes against people, crimes against property and crimes against government.

1571407433_xwezvU_cyber_securityPhoto Credit: BW Businessworld

Within that orbit, experts point out that the most popular cybercrimes to be aware of and protect yourself against are phishing scams, identity theft scams, online harassment, cyberstalking and invasion of privacy.

While no individual, company or even government is ever truly safe, transportation fleets should take particular note of certain countermeasures that, when applied with consistency and focus, can effectively combat the efforts of digital criminals.  

Tech-crime being what it is, the same rules that apply to your personal life should apply to your business. Protect your identity, be weary of tricky emails and similar scams and, without a doubt, protect your devices. This obviously includes keeping your credit card and social security numbers out of public view, as well as documents that contain delicate information.

But here’s an eye-opener: nearly half of all cell phone users don’t use a passcode. Moral of the story – use a passcode on all of your fleet’s devices. To that end, two-step verification is suggested – especially when accessing various accounts.

As for those scam emails? They seem to get trickier and trickier. All the more reason for users to remain as vigilant as possible. Modern hackers design corrupt emails to look like IRS, Google, FBI or even social media requests. Complete with familiar language and branding, they’re easy to fall prey to. Make a point to never click on any links in these emails or texts on your phone. Those are access points, and once inside, cybercriminals are well versed in navigating your system(s), and the consequence is typically some type of corruption and the resulting ransom request.  

Desirable goals

One big risk for drivers is using their various devices (phone, computer, tablet, ELD) via an unsecured wi-fi connection. As much as drivers find themselves on the road, eating in places that provide wi-fi, as well as staying overnight in hotels that provide it, the risk is very high that users can be hacked by fake wi-fi networks that look very much like the network they should be on (HolidayInnwifi vs. FreeHolidayInnwifi). Train up your workforce to always confirm which wi-fi is the real one associated with the place they currently find themselves.

Joel dandrea

Joel Dandrea 

Consistent updating of all of your software systems is also a must. These updates contain the most up-to-date protections, which likely have been updated for that very reason – because the old one has been out in the world for a month or three or six, and is now too vulnerable to attack.

Another eye-opener: as estimated by consumer data market leader, Statista, there will be more than 80 million connected vehicles in existence in 2020. And although more and more private vehicles have some kind of online technology, it is businesses and their fleets that most benefit from these technologies, thanks to the telematic data provided by OBD (on-board diagnostics) ports in vehicles. While originally designed to monitor emissions, OBD ports now provide all sorts of data, from the vehicle’s location and driving parameters (speed, acceleration, etc.), to weight and type of freight, and the state of the vehicle’s mechanical components. 

Online security company, Panda, recently addressed the risks involved with this optimization tool, stating, “If the vehicles are transporting valuable goods, finding out the location and route of each vehicle, as well as what it is carrying, is a desirable goal for potential thieves.”

Needless to say, gone are the days of the Hollywood snatch-and-grab heist – these days, cybercriminals snatch your vital information from thin air, if given the opportunity. But you can protect yourself and your business by remaining aware, consistent and up-to-date. While it might be inconvenient at times, don’t settle for less within today’s digital landscape. Don’t let your fleet end up on the receiving end of a ransom request.       



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