Trucking used to be known for the open road and long drives spent with little contact with the outside world. Today, however, modern trucks are equipped with all kinds of digital gadgets that handle everything from monitoring a truck’s diagnostics to updating routing information in real-time.

To add to this, truckers have access not only to friends, family, and employers through smartphones, laptops and tablets, but they also have a wealth of information at their fingertips through email and the web. While access to this kind of technology can keep drivers safer on the road and help them work more efficiently, digital connectivity can also become a cybersecurity threat.

Ransomware is on the Rise

Currently, some of the biggest threats facing trucking companies are cyberattacks using ransomware. These kinds of attacks essentially take over data and hold it hostage until a ransom is paid. Such an attack can affect trucking companies of all sizes since hackers know that trucking is a crucial part of the country’s infrastructure and economy.

Vehicle Hacking May Be Possible

In addition, modern electronic systems in trucks control more and more aspects of basic operations, and these are potentially vulnerable targets. If a truck’s digital brain can be hacked, the entire truck can be rendered useless. Worse than that, however, is the potential for serious safety issues if a truck is hacked during operation.

Tips to Protect Your Company

To better protect yourself, your company, your fleet and your drivers from cyberattacks like vehicle hacking and ransomware, education is often the best first step. Ensuring that your drivers know what to look for in terms of regular truck operation is the key. If something seems off, it should be reported at once.

Be Careful With Email

Likewise, ransomware attacks, like vehicle hacking, can be thwarted with a bit of cybersecurity knowledge. Never open emails that appear suspicious or that request personal or company information. Many hackers will use phishing schemes to gain access to a company’s digital infrastructure. Once inside, the criminals can lock data behind the ransomware and demand payment.

Don’t Click on Suspicious Links

If someone at your company suspects an email may be part of a phishing scheme, the email should not be opened. No one should click on links in an email unless they know who the sender is and that the email was sent from the person it is connected to.