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Archive for August 7, 2017

How To Manage Cybersecurity In The Age Of Telematics: Part I

We are moving into an age where heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles are increasingly connected to the internet, providing advanced web-based solutions and analytics, allowing better fleet management across the trucking spectrum.

With so many third-party options out there for business both big and small, it can be difficult for intrepid fleet managers to figure out how to manage cybersecurity in this age of integrated vehicle management.

Yet, through machine learning and the proper leveraging of multiple data streams, fleets can optimize their fuel consumption, increase safety measures and ensure better regulatory compliance. The new question is how to do it in an age of increased hacking and advanced cybersecurity measures.

Securing Telematics

In Part I of this two-part series, we are going to discuss a certain aspect of trucking that we’ve touched on before: Telematics. The fact is telematics generates a huge amount of data, whether it be a detailed history of truck driver or vehicle activities or fleet operations. Advanced telematics can even be used to reconstruct an accident or benchmark specific aspects of equipment performance.

The key is to ensure this data is protected. If your fleet’s data is accessed by a malicious third party, you could be looking at serious consequences, whether it be jeopardizing customer data or giving away your shipment or schedule information to the highest bidder. From cargo securement to identity theft, your company’s information provides a wealth of opportunity to bad actors.

This is why your fleet’s cybersecurity matters so much. As a small business or fleet owner, it’s vitally important that you keep tabs on how you handle and secure your telematics data. Fortunately, there are proven methods you can employ.

The Telematics Ecosystem

When it comes to telematics, what should you be looking for? There is a proven telematics ecosystem that relies on the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect vehicles with separate devices, all through one managed, centralized computer system.

A number of third-party devices can be connected to the system, including:

  • Bluetooth sensors and beacons
  • Temperature and tire pressure sensors
  • Salt, sand or de-icing spreading sensors and monitors
  • Verbal feedback monitors delivered from within the cab
  • Collision avoidance and automatic steering and braking systems
  • Internal and external camera systems

When you have so many connected devices, it can be hard to figure out how to secure each piece, whether when connected or individually. Now it’s time to look at best practices for cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Best Practices

As your business migrates from hardware to software-based solutions, your telematics data security will become even more important. These systems are often multi-tiered and interconnected. Since there are so many components and systems all talking to each other, with a combination of both hardware and software, there are a lot of potential vulnerabilities.

Such vulnerabilities include:

  • Theft
  • GPS jamming
  • Cellular sniffing
  • Firmware manipulation
  • Server exploits
  • Software phishing
  • Trojan viruses

Ensuring your systems are secure from these threats takes a multi-pronged approach. You must be both comprehensive and proactive in how you handle potential threats.

Addressing these problems also takes more than just installing new products designed to protect your internal systems, it also requires you to address how the entire company handles cybersecurity. Keeping your data protected involves your people feeling it ingrained within the culture of your company.

In the end, the best way to create resiliency against malicious attacks is to both protect the data on the hardware and software level, but to also ensure everyone who touches said data is aware of the safeguards and vulnerabilities.

But how do you address those safeguards and vulnerabilities? Join us in Part II of our series where we answer just those questions.

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