As delivery businesses become more reliant on technology and integration to maximise performance and customer experience, they also become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The severity and frequency of cybercrime have grown exponentially with more digital transformation and interconnectivity presenting malicious attackers with more impetus to exploit systems and compromise data.
New and emerging technologies like route optimisation software, GPS tracking and last-mile delivery logistics have led to greater efficiency and customer satisfaction across geographies and sectors.
While robust internal IT security is crucial, human error often leads to successful data breaches. In fact, it’s often the leading cause of instigated attacks like phishing or malware, further emphasising the cyber skills gap and the need for urgent awareness. Your employees are – invariably – your first line of defence when it comes to cybersecurity; ensuring they are informed and vigilant can prevent attacks from happening in the first place.
In this article, we’ll explore common cyber threats facing delivery businesses and how to make employees a part of your cyber defence strategy.
Why Cyber Attacks Target Delivery Businesses
The delivery sector has become an attractive target for hackers for several reasons:
Valuable Customer Data
Delivery businesses store massive amounts of customer data including names, addresses, phone numbers, order histories and sometimes even payment information. This data can be sold on the dark web or used for identity theft and other forms of fraud.
With drivers out on the road making deliveries, it can be hard to enforce consistent cybersecurity policies and procedures. Lack of oversight and direct supervision makes mobile devices and company networks vulnerable, as with any lone working workforce.
High Volume of Transactions
The more deliveries a company handles, the more opportunities there are for hackers to intercept data and payments. High-order volumes mean hackers have plenty to gain.
Thanks to emerging, innovative technology like AI, hackers can leverage this tech to outmanoeuvre legacy systems with relative ease, meaning businesses have to stay ahead of the curve and patch systems as soon as possible.
Common Cyber Threats In The Delivery Sector
With so much to gain, hackers are dedicating more resources to targeting delivery companies. Employee awareness is crucial as hackers use a variety of techniques to breach company defences. Here are some of the most common types of cyber attacks:
Phishing involves malicious actors sending fraudulent emails, texts, or messages posing as trusted sources to trick victims into revealing passwords, bank details, or other sensitive information. Phishing attacks often look legitimate and prey on the natural human instinct to click links or provide access without question.
Malicious software (malware) infects devices and systems to steal data, lock computers for ransom, or spy on company activities. Malware is usually delivered through phishing campaigns or by unknowingly visiting infected sites.
Hackers will target weak points in the supply chain, like vendor systems, to gain backdoor access to company networks. When choosing shipping partners or vendors, system security should be a key factor in the decision-making process. Unsecure third-party platforms create vulnerabilities.
Mobile devices used by drivers pose security risks if they aren’t properly protected. Lost or stolen devices without multi-factor authentication (MFA) verification steps enabled, unsecured WiFi, and outdated software provide easy openings for attackers.
Stolen or Compromised Credentials
Breached username and password combinations are used to access employee accounts through credential stuffing or brute force attacks. Strong, unique passwords on all devices thwart this method.
Manipulating human psychology factors into many cyber crimes. Social engineering attacks trick unsuspecting people into letting their guard down and, through perceived urgency or fear, allowing attackers to gain access to systems or information.
As you can see, human error enables many of these attack vectors. So how can you turn employees into an asset for your cyber defence strategy?
Making Cybersecurity A Company-Wide Effort
The most secure IT systems can’t protect against undiscerning employees. Cybersecurity works best as a company-wide effort with IT, management, and employees all playing their part. Some firms will, naturally, have to involve specialist cybersecurity firms to conduct audits like vulnerability assessments or penetration testing to uncover all potential loopholes. However, the fundamental principle of alignment among your team is pivotal regardless of company size.
Here are some ways to make staff a key part of your protection strategy:
IT Security Policies
- Create and enforce formal IT security policies around device usage, passwords, accessing company data, and reporting threats.
- Update policies regularly to address new attack methods.
- Implement security training upon hiring and annual refresher courses to reinforce knowledge.
- Ensure policies extend to any third-party vendors with system access.
- Send regular cybersecurity awareness reminders via email, video messages, and posters in breakrooms, and during meetings.
- Use real examples of phishing emails, texts, and hacked accounts to educate on threats.
- Keep training interactive and engaging. Friendly competition, games, and prizes motivate participation.
- Bring in outside experts to keep the material fresh and credible.
- Make it easy for staff to report suspicious activity, security concerns, or possible policy violations.
- Empower employees to question unusual emails, texts, and encounters without repercussions.
- Foster an environment where speaking up about security is rewarded.
- Restrict access to sensitive customer and company data by least privilege.
- Discourage sharing passwords or accounts even among coworkers.
- Control administrative and system access through stringent approval processes.
- Ensure strong passwords and MFA are present on all devices.
- Encrypt company laptops and mobile devices to protect lost or stolen data.
- Install comprehensive endpoint security software with anti-malware, firewalls, and intrusion prevention.
- Set systems to auto-update and patch security holes in real time.
Reinforcing good cyber habits will dramatically improve readiness to deal with the latest cyber threats.
Turning Employees Into A First Line Of Defence
With proper security awareness training, your staff can become an indispensable part of your cyber posture. Here are some examples of how delivery employees can thwart attacks:
Identifying Phishing Attempts
Phishing relies on tricking users into clicking dangerous links or divulging information. Knowledgeable and well-informed staff know what to watch out for, whether it’s messages from untrusted or unknown senders or spoofed email addresses. Verify users by phone calls or checking domains for authenticity. Users should not be immediately fooled into urgent or expiring offers as these can often indicate phishing attempts.
Securing Mobile Devices
Drivers rely heavily on mobile devices for navigation, communication, and managing deliveries throughout the day. Staff can deter attacks by:
- Locking devices when not in use, and enabling tracking in case of loss or theft.
- Only connecting to trusted WiFi networks and using a VPN when on public networks.
- Keeping software patched and updated, with passwords routinely updated and scans regularly conducted.
- Avoiding storage of customer data and limiting apps to only essential, vetted ones.
Encourage employees to look into anything that seems off to catch attacks early. Whether this is account logins from unknown devices or locations, unexpected password resets, sudden loss of data or unexpected connectivity issues. Be vigilant about unfamiliar or circumspect files appearing on shared drives suddenly, or threatening emails demanding payment out of the blue. Catching attacks early limits damage and improves response time, which is shockingly low if recent statistics are anything to go by.
In such a fast-moving industry, delivery businesses can benefit significantly by upskilling their employees on basic principles of cyber awareness. With eCommerce volumes rising, and presenting new attack surfaces for malicious actors, businesses that successfully bolster their multi-layered defences will have the edge.
Ongoing training, transparency, communication and awareness will foster an aligned culture of security, where company resources and customer data can be safeguarded. Doing so will ensure that finances remain uncompromised and reputations remain intact.