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What does the insider threat look like for the logistics sector?

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

The logistics sector is heavily reliant on technology and digital systems to manage its operations. This dependence on technology increases the exposure of the logistics sector to cyber risks, which can impact its operations, reputation, and financial stability.

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Some of the most common cyber risks that the logistics sector faces include:

  1. Cyberattacks: Logistics companies are vulnerable to cyberattacks such as ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. These attacks can disrupt the logistics supply chain, causing delays and financial losses. Additionally, they can also compromise sensitive data such as customer information, trade secrets, and financial data.

  2. Data breaches: The logistics sector collects and stores a significant amount of data, including customer information, shipment data, and financial data. A data breach can result in the exposure of this sensitive information, leading to financial and reputational damage.

  3. Supply chain attacks: The logistics sector relies on a complex supply chain network that includes suppliers, vendors, and third-party logistics providers. Any vulnerability in this network can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to the logistics company's systems and data.

  4. Insider threats: Employees of logistics companies have access to sensitive information and systems. If an employee with access to critical systems or data becomes disgruntled or malicious, they can intentionally or unintentionally cause a cybersecurity incident.

  5. Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerabilities: The logistics sector is increasingly adopting IoT devices to track shipments and manage inventory. However, these devices are often insecure and can be compromised, leading to the loss of data or control of critical systems.

One key concern is the fact that smaller companies are even more likely to be impacted by a cyber-attack. “Often it’s the smallest carriers that have the weakest defences, and they get breached,” said Tim James Higham, CEO of InMotion Global, a company that provides IT systems to logistics companies. That was demonstrated when a small trucking company in the US, with less than 25 trucks was ransomwared in 2021 – a demand for $300K was made in return for a promise not to disclose sensitive shipping documents that had been stolen.

“Being a small company in a small town, you would have never thought a company like us would get targeted,” the owner said.

When the company refused to pay the data was leaked onto the dark web and all of the supply chain and customers affected had to be notified of the data breach. Only time will tell whether the incident leads to a loss of business to this small company and whether job losses follow.

In conclusion, the logistics sector is vulnerable to a wide range of cyber risks due to its reliance on technology and digital systems. These risks can have significant financial and reputational consequences, making it crucial for logistics companies to invest in cybersecurity measures and regularly assess their cyber risk exposure.

What is the insider threat itself?

The cyber insider threat is a cybersecurity risk that arises from individuals within an organization who have authorized access to the organization's systems, data, or networks, but use that access for malicious purposes. This can include employees, contractors, and partners who have legitimate access to sensitive information and systems, but may use that access to steal data, compromise systems, or cause damage to the organization.

The cyber insider threat can be intentional or unintentional. An intentional threat occurs when an individual with authorized access deliberately uses that access to cause harm to the organization. This could be for personal gain, revenge, or to provide sensitive information to outside parties. On the other hand, an unintentional threat can occur when an individual with authorized access inadvertently causes harm to the organization, such as by accidentally leaking sensitive information or introducing malware into the network.

Examples of cyber insider threats include:

  1. Malicious insiders who deliberately steal sensitive data, modify, or destroy data, or install malware on the organization's network.

  2. Careless or negligent insiders who unintentionally cause damage to the organization by clicking on phishing emails, using weak passwords, or sharing sensitive information with unauthorized parties.

  3. Compromised insiders who have had their credentials stolen by cybercriminals and are being used as a conduit for attacks on the organization.

The cyber insider threat is a significant risk for organizations because insiders with authorized access are often difficult to detect and may have access to critical systems and data. Organizations can mitigate this risk by implementing security policies and procedures, monitoring user behaviour, and providing cybersecurity training to employees to help them recognize and avoid potential threats. Additionally, organizations can use technologies like data loss prevention and security information and event management (SIEM) systems to detect and respond to insider threats.

Further guidance & support

You can contact the Cyber Resilience Centre for guidance and support through our e-mail or use our online booking system to make an appointment with one of our team.

Take a look at our affordable services packages provided by university students and designed to help you root out cyber vulnerabilities and upskill your staff with the knowledge and skills they need to reduce the risk of you your business becoming another victim of cybercrime.

We recommend that all businesses in the Eastern region consider joining our growing community as a free member. Core members receive regular updates which include the latest guidance, news, and security updates. Our core membership has been tailored for businesses and charities of all sizes who are based across the seven counties in the East of England.

The ECRC is a policing-led, not for profit, membership organisation, with the aim to increase the cyber resilience within small and medium businesses within the East of England (Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent).

Reporting Cyber Crime

Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to or report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).

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The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this document. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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