Cyberattacks on rise in trucking: Mainville

Attrix president Anthony Mainville describes cybersecurity as growing threat in the trucking industry, and he believes small- and mid-sized businesses may face the biggest risks of all.

“This is a subject that we must take seriously,” he said Monday, during a presentation at the company’s Symposium on Intelligent Transport, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. “It is a scourge that will particularly attack small and medium-sized businesses because they are less equipped than large corporations to defend themselves.”

Attrix president Anthony Mainville
Attrix president Anthony Mainville (Photo: Steve Bouchard)

Mainville noted ransomware-related cyber attacks increased 80% last year, and the annual growth of such attacks in transportation reached as high as 186% as recently as June. In the midst of it all, the FBI noted last spring that the trucking industry had become a significant and growing target for hackers.

It can take businesses 252 days to even identify an attack, he added. “All the while, the cyber attacker is playing in your computer system.”

The trucking industry is particularly attractive to cybercriminals because of supply chain pressures and restricted capacities, Mainville said. And trucking businesses can lack skilled IT personnel, leading to limited monitoring and defences.

To compound matters, trucks are becoming increasingly connected, leaving openings that could be hacked to corrupt an onboard computer, infiltrate corporate systems, or even shut down a truck.

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) alone hold a treasure trove of information that could be hacked. They house data on vehicles (positions, history); drivers (driver’s licence, date of birth); corporations and systems.

“The truck has become a mobile computer, but a mobile computer that is at risk,” he said.

It all means trucking companies should ensure enterprise systems and personal devices alike are updated as quickly as possible to plug any potential vulnerabilities. Enterprise devices should be overseen by certified data managers, too, he said.

“Today, cloud services are the most secure because they are updated and supervised by experts,” Mainville added. “That doesn’t mean they are foolproof, but if you have choices to make in the future, consider cloud.”

Steve Bouchard started writing about trucks over 20 years ago, making him by far the most experienced trucking journalist in Quebec. Steve is the editor of Quebec’s leading French-language trucking magazine, Transport Routier, published by Newcom Média Québec since its creation in 2000. He is also editor of the associated website transportroutier.ca, and a contributor to Today’s Trucking and Trucknews.com.

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