Month: October 2019

Ransomware Hits the Trucking Industry

ransomware-hits-the-trucking-industry

Cybersecurity is vital to protect any business in today’s connected world and global economy.  We assume that hackers will attack banks, government agencies, and companies with databases of customers’ personal and credit card information.  However, one of the most common targets currently may come as a surprise―trucking companies, commonly attacked with ransomware.

Why target trucking companies?   Unlike those obvious targets of banks and retail, trucking companies often haven’t beefed up their cybersecurity.  According to Forbes, the transportation industry ranked #5 of industries at risk of a cyber-attack.  

Many attacks don’t originate in the U.S. so it makes them difficult to track.    

Ransomware 

Ransomware is malware (malicious software) that attacks a business’ computer systems and holds their data hostage, asking for money in exchange for your own data.  There are several types of ransomware:

  • Crypto malware―spreads throughout a network and can attack thousands of computers.
  • Lockers―completely lock the user out of a computer’s operating system until a ransom is paid.
  • Scareware―malware disguised as an antivirus or system-cleaning tool.  It tricks the user into thinking they’re removing malware from their computer when in reality, they’re installing it.  
  • Doxware―Malware that threatens to publish your sensitive information if you don’t pay the ransom and then restores your data when it is.
  • RaaS―Ransomware as a Service is when a hacker installs the ransomware, collects the ransom, and then will restore your data.  They do it all.

In June 2019, LTL trucking leader A. Duie Pyle was hit by a ransomware attack that disrupted their communications and shut down their website.  Chubb Financial Lines and Cosco Shipping have also been attacked in recent years. Ransomware criminals don’t just go after big trucking companies, however.  They’ve been hitting smaller companies and can peek into your finances to determine how much you can afford to pay so the amount they ask for isn’t out of your reach.  

 

Prevention

With diligence, ransomware can be prevented or its effects lessened if it does happen to you.

Use trusted security

Whether you have an IT department or you do it all yourself, make sure that you’re using a trusted security suite to protect your systems.

Keep your software up-to-date

Software companies are constantly improving the security of their products to better fight off cyber attackers.

Scrutinize your emails

Cybercriminals often try to trick you into thinking an email is from a legitimate source like Apple or Amazon claiming to be charging your account.  If you’re unsure, contact the company directly, not through a link in the email. And never open attachments unless you are certain they’re from a trusted source.

Don’t enable macros to view the contents of an email

This is a common way for malware to get in.

Use the cloud

If your system becomes infected, you can usually access earlier versions of your files from the cloud.

Back up often

Backing up your files on an external hard drive will mean if there’s an attack, the cybercriminals will have no leverage.  You can simply copy your files from your external hard drive. 

Have a security assessment

Annually assess your computer systems including tests to reveal where they may have vulnerabilities.

Make sure everyone’s trained

All staff must go through yearly cybersecurity training.  Ransomware often gets in through email attachments or when employees inadvertently visit a malicious website.  Make sure everyone knows what should and shouldn’t be accessed.  

Don’t pay the ransom

It may not be over if you do.  They may ask for more money or never release your files.  Often, companies who pay the ransom either don’t get their data back or they get it back partially or corrupted.  And because the cybercriminals were successful, they’ll continue the cycle by finding a new victim.  

Direct Freight Services is a full-service subscription load board that helps drivers and carriers find loads.  With helpful features like the app, load searching, truck posting, credit reports and scores, load filtering, turn-by-turn routing, and text alerts, Direct Freight is the only load board you’ll ever need.  Go to DirectFreight.com and try it out today!

 Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemorgan/2016/05/13/list-of-the-5-most-cyber-attacked-industries/#2628f83d715e

https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-malware-ransomware-5-dos-and-donts.html

https://www.joc.com/trucking-logistics/ltl-trucking-logistics/duie-pyle/cyber-attack-hits-us-ltl-trucker-duie-pyle_20190617.html

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/trucking-industry-has-become-top-target-ransomware-attacks

Best Nationwide Cellular Data

best-nationwide-cellular-data

Cell phones aren’t just a toy for truck drivers.  Besides being an important lifeline in case of emergencies, a driver’s mobile device is a connection to family and home, and by using Skype, it can almost feel like he or she is still at home.  Downloading podcasts or music to pass the time on the road or movies to watch at night can fight the loneliness and boredom that can creep in during long periods on the road. Truck Drivers need to have a reliable connection for emergencies, looking up information, entertainment, and staying close to family.

The Big Four

Most people look to the top four cell phone companies―Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile for service on the road.  If your runs take you across the country, you should choose a company that has thorough nationwide coverage.

Verizon has the best nationwide coverage even in the middle of nowhere, which is where many truckers often find themselves.  Unlimited plans* start at $70 a month which gives unlimited data, talk, and text on a 4G LTE network and go as high as $90 a month.  By paying more, you get better quality video and you’ll receive a higher throttle threshold which means higher data usage before they slow down your speeds.  For an extra $10 a month, you can upgrade to the 5G network.

In second place for coverage is AT&T.  $70 a month gets you unlimited data, talk, and text but video is only 420p.  For $80, you can get unlimited features plus 1080p video including 1 free premium channel such as HBO, Cinemax, Starz, or music channels like Amazon Music or Pandora.

T-Mobile is next because although it’s faster than AT&T, its coverage in rural areas isn’t great, especially in northern New England and many parts in the north and southwest.  Plans range from $60 a month to $85 for unlimited talk, text, and data.  Like the other carriers, the more you pay the better the quality of the video and the higher the throttle threshold and the two best T-Mobile plans include a Netflix subscription.   

Sprint has spotty rural coverage but does well in cities.  Prices range from $60 for a basic plan to $80 for a premium one.  All plans include Hulu and the highest plan includes Amazon Prime as well.  The top 2 plans can be used with 5G devices.  

Other Choices  

These are the 4 most popular carriers but there are a lot of minor carriers that are cheaper like Cricket, StraightTalk, and Boost Mobile.  These carriers can have great coverage because they buy services from the big carriers and sell them to you cheaper but you will lose download speeds during peak usage times because users of the major carriers get priority.  

Choosing the right plan is going to take some research and it’s important to understand not only what your budget is but also how much all of the fees and extras are going to cost.  When switching to a new plan, start it right before you hit the road so you can thoroughly test it out for coverage, slow speeds, dropped calls, etc. Most carriers allow you two-weeks to try out the phone/plan.

At Direct Freight Services, we make it easy for drivers to find loads or for carriers to find trucks to carry their loads.  The Direct Freight website also has many useful features such as mile calculators, fuel price data, weather conditions, turn-by-turn truck-specific routing and mobile app. Call us today at (888)894-4198 or go to DirectFreight.com to find out more about our services.

*Unlimited plan prices are for a single line and exclude taxes, fees, and phone.

Sources:  

https://www.opensignal.com/reports/2019/01/usa/mobile-network-experience

https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/unlimited/

https://www.verizonwireless.com/featured/better-matters/#maps

https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html

https://www.att.com/plans/wireless.html

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans/essentials

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/coverage-map

https://www.sprint.com/en/shop/plans/unlimited-cell-phone-plan.html?INTNAV=TopNav:Shop:UnlimitedPlans

https://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp?INTCID=LP:ALL:MAP:LP

https://www.dailywireless.org/mobile/best-cell-phone-coverage/