New Articles
  June 19th, 2024 | Written by

Securing the Digital Frontier: Cybersecurity in Trade and Logistics Infrastructure 

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

Headlines litter online landscapes, detailing the rising threat of cyberattacks on supply chains. Logistics and trade work forces must combat criminal outfits with revolutionary defense tactics. Critical societal systems will fall without preparation, damaging economies and corporate stability. Everyone — from exporters to manufacturers — has a long list of techniques to employ for protection.

Read also: Chinese Crane Manufacturer Denies Cybersecurity Concerns Raised by US Officials

Encryption of Data in Transit and at Rest

Many understand data as a constantly mobile concept. However, logistics and supply chain experts know a lot of it remains at rest or inactive in hard drives or cloud storage until it has utility. Encrypting moving and at-rest information within immutable storage adds defensive layers to critical infrastructure.

Smart ports and trade hubs are becoming the norm, so information is on the move every second. This is why a massive Japanese port suffered a ransomware attack in 2023, shutting down operations.

The strategy prevents unwanted access without a decryption key, increasing the sector’s compliance adherence. While it safeguards information, it makes cybersecurity analysts’ lives easier. Reduced access means it is easier to identify who or what is potentially responsible for a breach. A short list of authorized individuals makes risk assessment more straightforward.

Regular Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing

Countless supply chains use code assembly-based software. This implies the program has prebuilt assets, saving developers time to create what they need, even if it is proprietary. However, many third-party codes and open-source libraries contain oversights receiving infrequent patches.

Issues like this hit companies like SolarWinds in 2023, leading to cyberattacks in poorly managed software. Penetration testers and vulnerability assessments find concerns like this and many more with a little help.

These service professionals dig into the infrastructure of a supply chain to note the most prominent concerns and what high-value tools companies can implement to increase protection. The tests discover:

  • Misconfigurations
  • Unsupported software
  • Weak passwords
  • Unprotected servers and networks
  • API failures
  • Data center oversights

Adopting Blockchain Technology for Secure Transactions

The blockchain is one of the most promising cybersecurity tools of Industry 5.0. It keeps logistical communications, procurement transactions and more in a protected digital ledger. It is tamper-proof, requiring verifiable authentication with hashes or digital fingerprints. Every exchange is transparent and traceable, validating the trustworthiness of each contract.

Supply chain professionals need infrastructure like the blockchain to give stakeholders peace of mind. Proving security and streamlining trading deals has never been safer. A case study proved its usefulness in the food industry with the strawberry supply chain. The blockchain improved the efficiency and security of customer shipping notifications and vendor interactions.

Secure Remote Access Protocols

Supply chains have a seemingly unending list of people who contribute to operations. There are vendors, internal staff, contractors and more. Too many individuals may have credentials to access critical logistics systems, and this habit expands the surface area for cyberattacks.

This includes on-site and remote access, which expanded as more people shifted to hybrid schedules. It also applies to logistics equipment and machinery like security cameras, servers and vehicles.

Digital transformation has encouraged supply chains to adopt assets like intelligent transportation and remote power management systems to expand oversight and improve safety response times. Virtual private networks and secure employee devices are several pieces of this puzzle.

Incident Response Planning and Regular Drills

Wholesalers, exporters, retailers and every sector in-between must construct a cybersecurity plan. Incident response is vital to business continuity, and corporations must issue regular drills to make sure it is effective. Doing so will reduce the adverse impacts of a cybersecurity incident on supply chain infrastructure because every moving part knows how to respond. These are some of the details logistics workers need to know if an attack occurs in the systems:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Government bodies to send reports for investigation
  • Personal safety protocol
  • What not to do during an attack
  • Guidance for IT professionals and analysts to detect, contain and eradicate the source
  • Recovery strategies 
  • Post-incident analysis tools

Follow the guidelines of notable cybersecurity compliance frameworks like NIST to discover curated solutions for supply chains. Frequent reviews will increase the confidence of all workers and partners if the response plan needs to be used.

Continuous Monitoring and Threat Intelligence Sharing

No factory load dock or smart city is safe without regulators and logistics professionals monitoring digital activity. Many leverage tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning to delegate and expand responsibilities.

Every insight must not remain a trade secret. Threat intelligence sharing is critical, as it could protect others in trade and logistics infrastructure from a destructive incident.

Enter the Digital Age With Secure Supply Chains

Supply chain infrastructure is crucial to a balanced society, and threat actors are getting more clever annually. Instilling it with more robust digital walls is the key to staying operational. Doing so is an industry-wide effort where collaboration and knowledge-sharing are necessary to overcome breaches and hackers.