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Security and TMS: What Intermodal Carriers Should Know


Many companies shy away from adopting new technology solutions because they fear security risks. While hacking is a serious threat, the modern cloud is safer and more reliable than ever. Cloud technology offers several attractive benefits for end users including cost effectiveness, mobility, and convenient maintenance. With appropriate security measures, cloud TMS products will contribute to business efficiency.

Security Risks in the Intermodal Transportation Industry

In freight transportation, a cyber security threat can cause delays, contribute to a cargo-stealing conspiracy, compromise sensitive data, or put digital systems at risk. A breach could cost millions of dollars in cleanup activities, not including losses associated with downtime or physical theft.

Many intermodal transportation enterprises already use internet-connected devices to manage logistics, financial details, and account records. Any outdated software, unprotected systems, or improperly applied security patches can open the door to a malicious hacker and put the business at risk. Older methods, procedures, and technologies present distinct cybersecurity risks. To remain competitive, transportation companies must invest in modern technology, strong cybersecurity practices, and relationships with trustworthy technology vendors.

Are Cloud TMS Solutions Safe?

For years, businesses ran with the idea that cloud technology was too unsafe to use. Today, a cloud service can offer more safety and security than housing data or running software on your own servers. With appropriate encryption, security controls, and disaster-recovery planning, many cloud providers offer more data protection than in-house solutions and at more cost-effective rates. Also, cloud solutions providers usually have more expertise and resources at their disposal to protect your information in the event of a serious cyber threat.

The answer to the question is that cloud-based TMS solutions can be safe, but every intermodal business is responsible for its own security. Businesses are responsible for ensuring the security of their own data, devices, and legacy software solutions. They should investigate products and partner with vendors known for putting security and control in users’ hands. Serious data breaches often come into systems through unprotected backdoors that individual companies fail to secure.

Security Tips Intermodal Carriers Can Use to Reduce Internet Security Risks

Whether you use cloud-based or in-house software/data storage solutions, follow these tips to strengthen internal cybersecurity practices:

1.     Create a cybersecurity policy. Formal guidelines help management and end users engage with devices and solutions in a safe manner. Train employees to create strong passwords, keep their company-related devices clean, and recognize threats.

2.     Review the “Transportation Systems Sector Cybersecurity Framework Implementation Guide” and accompanying workbook. Designed for owners and operators, this guide offers information about auditing current cybersecurity processes and finding the resources needed to improve security.

3.     Update technology resources regularly and follow industry best practices. Running software, operating system, and hardware updates can significantly reduce the risk of a cyberattack. Encourage staff members to follow best practices when updating logs and using cloud-based services. Something as simple as completing a full logout after use can mitigate a potential attack.

Everyone plays a role in preventing cybersecurity attacks, from end users to vendors providing cloud-based services. With strong oversight, intermodal carriers can protect their data, processes, and employees from an ever-changing cyber threat landscape.



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