Fleet managers who make the move to implement a third-party managed cybersecurity service into their systems and workflow will arm themselves and their fleets with the latest technology and expertise to safeguard themselves against any potential risks—now and in the future.
By Robert Nawy

Every aspect of our modern lives relies on fleets to transport goods and services. Not only are fleets crucial in terms of what they transport, but increased adoption of telematics devices has also transformed them into mobile data factories, including fleets that handle construction and demolition, recycling, and waste conversion among other integral daily tasks.

Risks with Connectivity
Even before telematics or connected features come into play in terms of fleets, it is important to understand that newer vehicles—stuffed to the rivets with innovative, often connected technology—themselves are vulnerable to hackers. Some can include up to 100 million lines of code programmed into electronic units that have control over nearly every function of a vehicle, including engine performance, braking systems, airbag deployment, power steering, windshield wiper functionality, security features, and more. Automakers estimate the number of electronic units will soon rise to closer to 200 million lines of code, presenting an even greater risk for cyberattacks. Furthermore, vehicles that use telematics with a controller area network (CAN) transceiver, provide hackers with a potential opening to switch on the transceiver and take control of vehicle functions by modifying the firmware, ultimately, taking control of vehicle brakes and other functions. While uncommon now, these are the kinds of risks that could become more frequent in the coming years.

Telematics provides numerous benefits to fleets and are becoming more commonplace, as the technology can reduce accidents and save managers thousands of dollars. And while there are many features of telematics that improve safety, efficiency, and convenience, the evolution of digitized technology installed in fleet vehicles essentially makes them a rich, moving target for cyberattacks if not properly secured.

Data security is of paramount importance to fleets. However, many companies are currently using outdated IT infrastructures that lack modern tech safeguards. Even the smallest data breach could lead to a company experiencing a loss in revenue, losing customers, and even taking a hit to its reputation. The Ponemon Institute estimates that each year, cyberattacks cost companies about $4 million. Companies without substantial protection leave themselves open to a long list of vulnerabilities, and while it is important to allow information to flow freely, sensitive data must be protected. Implementing a strong security system within the infrastructure can ensure private data remains confidential, as well as ensure there is no chance of subjecting even the smallest vulnerabilities to a cyberthreat.

Locking the Doors
Managers can safeguard their fleets by arming them with the necessary protections to eliminate vulnerabilities for the foreseeable future. Through the implementation of a third-party managed cybersecurity service, managers can ensure all the cyber doors are locked, and gain second-by-second monitoring capabilities. The technology supports IT personnel and teams, essentially giving them eyes on any potential vulnerabilities so that they can address them long before they are discovered or penetrated by cyber attackers. To reduce additional exposures, the tech also provides any necessary training and education that can help team members avoid the risk of displaying valuable data, as well as ensure they are adapting to company-wide best practices.

Lightening the Load
By using a cybersecurity service, teams currently evaluating hours of analysis through manual processes are now able to halt arduous processes, yet still intercept and digest risk management framework (RMF) data quickly. It allows teams to visualize information through a dynamic and user-friendly tool. In addition, the service can uncover hidden data connections and provide deeper cybersecurity insights.

Along with robust cyber protection, these managed cybersecurity solutions reduce costs while enhancing the ability to maintain security policies. From the initial stages of implementing a cybersecurity service, the technology can accept software source code in a secure lab for analysis during a company’s software development cycle. It resolves security issues through design safety systems and information, rather than executing fixes after product releases. Additionally, while keeping a company informed of its system’s defensive stance, it is also deployed onsite to ensure the protection of a company’s systems and information.

While navigating a sea of data to drill down a company’s specific cybersecurity vulnerabilities, the technology automates and orchestrates data to carry out precise reporting. Security-related decisions can then be made confidently by using that data as actionable intelligence. Additionally, remediation can be optimized by very clearly specifying the types and methods that are required to not only resolve issues, but also discover them as well.

Halting the Risks
One might assume there is no single way to protect a company from hackers, but the opposite is true. Even though cybersecurity dangers are a real risk now and will only become more threatening moving forward, the surefire way to mitigate those risks is through the use of one single solution. Fleet managers who make the move to implement a third-party managed cybersecurity service into their systems and workflow will arm themselves and their fleets with the latest technology and expertise to safeguard themselves against any potential risks now—and in the future. | WA

Robert Nawy is CEO of IPKeys Cyber Partners, provider of industry-leading, secure OT/IT intelligence platform that addresses the complex cybersecurity, data, and critical infrastructure protection challenges faced by operators of mission-critical networks for customers in the energy, government, public safety communications, and industrial markets. The company’s suite of solutions encompasses cybersecurity, cyber compliance, and operational network monitoring for a range of dynamic OT/IT environments. IPKeys Cyber Partners is headquartered in New Jersey and has offices in California, Louisiana, and Texas. For more information, visit https://ipkeys.com.

• www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/technology/why-car-companies-are-hiring-computer-security-experts.html
• www.ibm.com/reports/data-breach#:~:text=Key%20findings&text=Data%20breach%20average%20cost%20increased,million%20in%20the%202020%20