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Firms warned of risks arising from cybercrime

Experts are warning that companies, including those in the supply chain sector, do not understand their costs and liabilities as cybercrime continues to increase. While technological advances provide greater operational efficiencies and opportunities for carriers and operators to mitigate their exposure
to theft and fraud, unfortunately they equally benefit criminal organisations, said TT Club. As invasive cyber technology becomes more widely available and cost effective, a greater risk to legitimate trade is emerging, exposing operators to both economic and commercial damage, it adds. “It appears that like few other risks, cybercrime knows no bounds; the more you consider it the greater the potential risk exposure appears. From email and communication channels through to fully automated terminal operations, businesses are reliant today on increasingly inter-connected and automated IT solutions.

“The cyber criminal’s ability to hack into email accounts and communication channels is well established, so the risks to the logistics operator cannot be ignored,” the insurance provider said. TT Club said the effectiveness of business operations is dependent on continuous and secure communications channels to receive and fulfil orders, as well as instruct on-site and remote/mobile personnel. Both interruption to service and infiltration are obvious critical risks. Iain Sharples, TT Club senior underwriter in Sydney said, “It is critical that this risk is recognised since it exposes businesses to both loss of reputation as well as industrial espionage.

Never underestimate the value of the data your business retains or generates electronically. Whether intellectual property, financial information or your customers’ commercially sensitive data, even what appears to be the most benign information can prove extremely valuable to a criminal organisation. Data are everywhere and the lifeblood of most organisations.”

TT Club is therefore urging firms’ management boards to conduct thorough risk assessments and to boost their ‘e-perimeter fence’. Another trend analysts see starting to develop is that cybercrime is becoming more targeted. According to Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG’s cyber security practice, the next twelve months will see criminals become more selective about who they target. They won’t need to maintain the current ‘hit and hope’ approach of spear phishing, instead only attacking specific users and computers based on the data these give away about their owners.

The result, he says, will be a business world where cyber protection matures and where governments come together to improve ways in which confidential data is secured. He says, “2014 may have been a year in which hardly any time went by without news of a cyber-attack and the next 12 months will be no different. This time, however, third party assurance will become a burgeoning industry as firms seek to protect themselves against lawsuits for loss of data or revenue. As part of this, my hope is that EU governments will reach agreement on data protection legislation in a post-Snowden world, and implement a data breach disclosure regime.”

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which functions as a focal point in the fight against maritime crime and malpractice repeats its call for companies in the sector to remain vigilant. IMB said, “Recent events have shown that systems managing the movement of goods need to be strengthened against the threat of cyber-attacks.

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