Study: cybersecurity awareness in road freight transport still underdeveloped

September 11, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Study: cybersecurity awareness in road freight transport still underdeveloped
While digitisation in road freight transport is progressing rapidly, awareness of protection against cyber-attacks is still in its infancy. This is one of the findings of the "Commercial Vehicle Study 2020 - Cyber Security and Digitisation" by the technology company Continental.

Networked solutions are playing an increasingly important role in the supply chain and transport because they bring efficiency advantages and reduce costs in the strong competition in the transport industry. "But networking also increases the risks of cyber-attacks. At the same time, smaller companies in particular are still quite hesitant to invest in protecting their vehicle fleets and businesses from attacks," explains Mathias Dehm, who heads the Research and Processes for Product Security division at Continental. For the study, the infas Institute for Applied Social Science interviewed experts in associations, public authorities, freight forwarding companies and technology service providers.

A further result of the study: Despite increasing reports of cyber-attacks on vehicles, incuding commercial ones, many user companies feel relatively safe from such attacks. Around two thirds of those surveyed feel very well protected against such attacks, while only half of the companies have taken defensive measures for an attack scenario on logistics or fleet management systems. Three quarters are not planning any major investments in the next six to twelve months. However, this relatively high sense of security does not necessarily reflect the actual situation. "Although fleets have not been in the limelight of the discussion about cybercrime so far, they are worthwhile targets for attacks because of their cargo, such as hazardous goods, the size of their fleets and their economic importance. So there are definitely potential risks for logistics companies, for example when criminal hackers shut down fleets in order to extort ransom money," explains Dehm.

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