Cyber Attacks <> Supply Chain

Cyber-attacks and ransomware seem to be more common than ever before with both small and large players in all types of businesses all over the world being attacked. Cyber criminals look for targets that are most vulnerable to an attack, creating ransomware and holding the company hostage for thousands or even millions of dollars. Cyber-security is becoming a necessity, especially for high profile targets like logistics and transportation companies. Meanwhile they are already under a huge strain due to challenges with COVID-19 caused backlogs, driver and worker shortages, and increased consumer demand.  When you add in cyber-attacks, you have a perfect recipe for a significant impact that could be felt around the world.

Due to the heightened nature of today’s supply chain, there isn’t a shortage of examples of cyber-attacks against logistics and transportation companies. In February, Expeditors International, one of the world’s largest freight forwarder with close to 20k employees and over $10B in revenue, was brought to its knees by a cyber attack. Expeditors reportedly shut down their systems with limited ability to conduct operations. Weeks later, they were still recovering from the attack saying “The Company expects that the impact of the prior shutdown and the ongoing impacts of the cyber-attack will have a material adverse impact on its business, revenues, expenses, results of operations, cash flows and reputation. At this early stage, the Company is unable to estimate the ultimate direct and indirect financial impacts of this cyber-attack.”

There are countless other examples of ransomware attacks in the industry, including Total Quality Logistics, TFI International, Forward Air, and we cant forget the Colonial Pipeline shutdown in 2021.

The potential business and financial risks & impacts of cyber-attacks outweighs the costs of investing in cyber-security and mitigation plans, especially for small to medium sized businesses that could face catastrophic loses in such a situation.

Here are a few tips to Mitigate Cyber Security Risks:

1.     Identify and resolve vulnerabilities – Keep software up-to-date and do a periodic review of potential vulnerabilities. You can always hire a professional to help review your systems.

2.     Train employees to identify threats – Educate employees on the tactics and methods used by attackers and make sure they stay aware of their role in helping to prevent issues. Never give out personal or company information to someone via email or phone without verifying they are who they say.

3.     Use multi-factor authentication and require strong passwords – Password systems that help manage strong passwords can be helpful and using multi-factor when available can keep an attacker from using a compromised password.

4.     Identify and prioritize risk responses – Having a response plan ready if you do get attacked can help you recover more quickly. Ensure key IT personnel know their roles and you communicate to customers if needed.

5.     Backup files – Always have a process to backup data and it’s a good idea to try to separate these backups from your day-to-day systems so it isn’t compromised as well.

We hope these tips can help your business prevent risk and business disruption. If you have any questions, comments, or more tips you want to pass along then contact us at