Ransomware! Is Your Logistics Management System at Risk? Here’s a Three-Step Solution!
The recent resurgence of ‘Ransomware’ has the world in a grip of panic. Everyone from the CEOs of international banks to the humble mom-and-pop store around the corner, to this not-so-humble writer, are fretting about the possibility of a Ransomware attack. In all this, I want to ask a single question. Why NOW?
Let’s put a timeline to Ransomware. Some research on the lines of security against cyberattacks has unearthed the fact that this predatory software has been around for more than a decade. And has been operational across Europe, Russia, China, and the US. So why hasn’t anyone done anything about it? A Symantec’s report suggested that a modest Ransomware, or Cryptolocker, earned more than US$ 300,000 a month. A previous version of the Ransomware earned more than US$ 27 million. Most of these software authors create a chain of ‘Sales Professionals’ to further their reach. These sales reps get a commission in turn for their efforts. This is, apparently, a legitimate business model. How has this existed for a decade without stringent action against them? The simple answer is, they are next to impossible to find. And with the advent of Bitcoin, their transaction has become sufficiently anonymized to cover up their tracks.
Don’t take this lightly. This is the Cyber Mafia! It’s a crime, and we need to fight against it.
How do you fight an entity that you don’t know? Well let me tell you then…
Be Prepared! Be Very Prepared!
You must know by now that such a hack can affect you anytime. If you haven’t accepted this, you need a good reality check. This is not to ruffle you, but to shake you out of denial. You need to secure your world, at least for the next few days.
- First, back up everything you hold dear on external hard drives. Ransomware would rename and encrypt files on your computer. ‘Your Computer’. You need to back up all your financial details, your important documents, your photos, your rendition of ‘All by Myself’ recorded in your bathroom. You wouldn’t want to lose this.
- Update the security patches on your computers. I know the update takes up your valuable time, but it might save your data. Upgrade and update all your electronic items.
- The most crucial point: Don’t Click on Anything You Don’t Know! This should be a no-brainer. You don’t eat everything you find by the roadside, do you? Why would you then feed unknown links to your computer?
- Have an action plan if you do get infected. Disconnect your device/computer from the internet. There are ways being developed for decryption of the files. It won’t be long to have it cracked. Breathe easy.
- However, if you are on a corporate network, inform your IT expert. They should isolate your device to avoid it spreading to other computers in the company.
Do Not Pay! It Might be a Bluff!
As the name suggest, it is ‘Ransom’, plain and simple. If you have seen any Hollywood movie revolving around Ransom, then you know that the culprits don’t really care about your assets. They may not release your data. If you pay, two things can happen…
- They take the money, and release your data: So, you paid and got your data back. Nice. However, how long until this happens again? You thought your network was secured before, but they got through. The culprits would always find a way to break in, no matter how well you upgrade your system. They have decades of experience of breaking into servers. Let’s not kid ourselves, if you paid once, you might be asked to pay again. Furthermore, you are unintentionally encouraging such behavior. This might entice them to strike you again. Even if they cross their heart and promise not to do it again, there would be copycat culprits. There is already an updated version of it cropping up in China. Your payment just funded the Cyber Mafia. Congratulations.
- They take the money, and don’t release your data: This is more likely to happen. Imagine yourself in their situation. How many times has your Sales team made pitches that your customer service couldn’t justify? Claiming something to make a person pay is one thing, delivering on that claim is something else entirely. We need to understand that difference and make a sound decision. Your payment just funded the Cyber Mafia, and you have nothing to show for it.
Secure Your Logistics and Workforce Movement
What does this mean for your transportation management software? What if you have a million shipments in-transit, or thousands of field workforce on the road? What does a Ransomware attack mean in terms of logistics and field workforce management?
If you do get hacked, you must follow the above steps mentioned above. However, how do you sustain your business on a day to day business without real-time tracking and optimization? You can’t stand to have delayed or missed deliveries because something external. Your customers might suffer, and so would your revenue. Therefore, some people succumb and pay the required ransom. But there is something you can do.
LogiNext has perfected its software against any such attach. All the data you have on your field workforce with LogiNext is on the cloud. Being hardware-agnostic, LogiNext helps you secure your data away from vulnerable hardware at your offices. As we discussed before, Ransomware would only target your computer, or the computers on your network. It won’t touch the data or services integrated through cloud-based software. Log-in, access, visibility, and everything around data security is customized to your requirements. You can manage to sustain your core business value despite having your local computers hacked.
In-short, SaaS is the answer. Ransomware has a dark cloud hovering it, and you can make it rain. Go If you go SaaS, you don’t go back.15