Cyberattacks Pose a Real Threat

NOTE: October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

If you’re not convinced that cyberattacks pose a real threat to your business and industry, then you’re not keeping up with current events. Consider these recent news headlines:

  • Equifax CEO departs, forgoes bonus after massive data breach
  • Feds tell state officials Russians tried to hack elections
  • Industry reactions to the Deloitte cyber attack

And cyberattacks are also becoming a growing threat in the shipping and transportation industry.

For example, in June, Maersk Line was the victim of a cyberattack, preventing it from accepting new orders.When the attack began, Maersk decided to take down a number of systems as a precaution. Due to limited access to some of its computer systems, Maersk, which handles one out of seven containers shipped worldwide, also had problems processing orders.

Maersk estimates that the bottom line damage done by the cyberattack was about $300 million. You can find out more about the cyberattack by watching this CNN interview with Vincent Clerc, Maersk’s chief commercial officer.

Since the attack, Maersk has taken a number of steps to improve its cybersecurity, and other shipping lines are taking additional steps to increase their data security.

For example, COSCO Shipping’s initial security efforts were to separate its centralized servers into individual servers limiting the risk for a system-wide compromise. More long-term, COSCO Shipping has established a strategic partnership with China Electronic Technology Cyber Security Co., Ltd. (China Cyber Security) aimed at establishing overall security of its customers and terminals.

During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, many companies are running special efforts to educate their employees about ways they can help protect themselves and their company against the many cyber threats we face today.

Here are some simple tips to stay more secure and help prevent hacks and cyberattacks:

  1. Read and abide by your company’s Internet use policy.
  2. Make your passwords complex. Use a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters (uppercase and lowercase).
  3. Change your passwords regularly (every 45 to 90 days).
  4. Don’t share any of your user names, passwords, or other computer or website access codes.
  5. Only open emails or attachments from people you know.
  6. Never install or connect any personal software or hardware to your organization’s network or hardware without permission from your IT department.
  7. Make electronic and physical back-ups or copies of all your most important work.
  8. Report all suspicious or unusual problems with your computer to your IT department.

You can find additional cybersecurity publications on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Mapping Global Cyber Threats: Attempts at cyber attacks occur 24/7 around the globe. You can watch some of these attempts in real-time here.

If you would like to share the steps your company is taking to handle cyber threats, please post them on TCT’s Facebook page.