Supply chain frailties in face of cyberattack

A former executive of international freight transport insurers TT Club has warned of the frailty of the global supply chain in the face of cyberattack.

“Operations which are characterised by widespread office networks; reliance on multiple third party suppliers; IT systems predominantly of an in-house, legacy nature, which are poorly protected by security software; and a lack of open communication and reporting of damaging past cyber experiences, are common within the global logistics community,” said Alexis Cahalan, formerly of the TT Club, now with Thomas Miller Law based in Sydney.

Cahalan continued, “These characteristics lead to greater risk.”

Speaking at the Trans- Pacific Asia Conference, in Shenzhen, China, she highlighted the recent “not Petya” incident as evidence that the risk of cyberattack is now a reality which needs to be seriously addressed by all participants in the transport supply chain. “There is a case for employing a corporate culture of risk management to assess these vulnerabilities within individual companies and to develop a response framework with this in mind.”

“Employee awareness of the potential dangers of day-to-day activities will help with cyber defences. Trust in email communication, auto-connect Wi-Fi settings and password protocols, peripheral equipment and flash drives, computers in general, should all be monitored and reviewed,” said Cahalan.

“Staff and contractors should be brought to understand that the critical balance between ease of operation and security may bring inconvenience. A corporate culture that articulates, enforces and educates cyber defence will achieve much in terms of mitigating risk.”

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