Protecting your fleet from a cyberattack

Simple steps can help prevent attacks, which can cripple businesses for weeks

If it seems as though cyberattacks are becoming more commonplace, it’s because they are. The Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Cost of Cyber Crime report noted that cyber crime cost affected companies an average of $6.5 million in 2010, but had doubled to nearly $13 million by 2015. The maximum cost in 2015 was $65 million. That year, there were an average of 160 successful cyberattacks per week, up from just 50 per week in 2010.

According to Panda Labs, in 2016, there were 18 million known malware samples found in the third quarter alone. The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) says there were more than 4,000 ransomware attacks per day in 2016, a 300% increase over 2015. Security firm Symantec reports that one in 131 emails sent in 2016 contained malware, the highest rate in five years. And Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, relying on spear-phishing emails, targeted over 400 businesses every day, draining $3 billion over the last three years, it said.

The numbers are staggering. The late June Petya ransomware attack, dubbed GoldenEye, hit several shipping companies hard, including FedEX-owned TNT Express and global shipping firm Maersk. It followed the WannaCry attack in May that effected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries.

As of Monday, nearly a week after the attack, TNT was still trying to recover. The company makes more than 1 million deliveries per day in 61 countries; many of those deliveries have been delayed. The impact to TNT Express caused FedEx to issue guidance to investors.

“We cannot measure the financial impact of this service disruption at this time, but it could be material,” FedEx advised.

Maersk was also significantly impacted, with operations at several port terminals shut down due to the attack. Maersk owns port operator APM Terminals, which has operations on both coasts of the U.S. The company was only able to restore full operations on Monday. “Today we can finally reopen our key applications,” Maersk said in a statement. “We can, with great certainty, say that we have never experienced anything like this and therefore we are extremely excited to have achieved a milestone in the journey to be back fully online.”

Clearly, cyberattacks including ransomware are on the rise, and that means businesses big and small need to have proper defenses in place. Ransomware attacks are particularly troubling as the virus takes over the computer or computer system and won’t release it until a ransom is paid, usually done in bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency. The ransom is often small — $300, for instance — and most companies just pay the ransom hoping to get access to their computers and data again. Unfortunately, more often than not, the ransom is paid and the held computer is never released.

But with so many millions at stake, supply chain companies face a dilemma: either invest big money in online security systems — which the recent attacks show may still not be good enough — or take your chances that a cyberattack won’t happen to you.

Oliver Wyman vice president Jason Kuehn offers his tips on protecting your business from a cyberattack.

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