The Road to Reducing Cyber Risks
It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Every October, we take advantage of the opportunity to showcase the cool things our IT Department (Information Technology) has been doing throughout the year to keep our wheels moving and reduce the risk of cyber threats. This month, we took some time to catch up with our Vice President of Information Technology to discuss his journey in minimizing cyber threats for our clients, employees and freight at The Erb Group.
Cybersecurity in the Trucking IndustryAs a transportation and logistics company, cybersecurity is not only top of mind throughout October but also every other day of the year. As each day passes, a new cyber challenge can arise; therefore, navigating the road to reducing cyber risks is essential. According to an article from Cybertalk.org, between June 2020 and June 2021, the transportation industry witnessed a 186 percent increase in weekly ransomware attacks. The number of ransomware attacks is increasing across all sectors, but transportation entities are seemingly bearing the brunt of this trend. Trucking and logistics companies rely heavily on their computer systems and networks, beyond just tracking orders going from point A to B, and when it goes down even for a short time, it can be very costly. It could be very difficult for clients to contact us, receive tenders for freight, impact delivery schedules, shipment tracking and more. It can take many weeks to get systems back to normal after such an attack, which can negatively impact the day-to-day operations of a transportation company. Therefore, we prioritize cybersecurity every day to encourage cyber-smart decisions within The Erb Group’s operations.
Leading ITIf you've driven to our headquarters, there is a local road name nearby that might sound familiar. Darryn Nafziger, our Vice President of Information Technology, started his career in IT at The Erb Group in 2010, growing up in the community of New Hamburg; he was happy to join our team as he knew of our company's rich history and reputation as a SupErb place to work. Darryn has always had a passion for computers and understanding how they operate and has applied his knowledge to our extensive infrastructure, creating a safe cyberspace for our daily operations. Darryn works on managing two divisions of IT, one which helps service our employees, control the network and back-end servers, and another to develop programs and innovations for our operations software and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). While discussing how to navigate the infrastructure of a large transportation company, "the traditional challenges of troubleshooting networks or PC problems remain, but there is a whole new set of challenges with cyber threats,” said Darryn, "not only in keeping the company secure, but in trying to maintain a balance between giving the access employees need to do their job, and keeping the company secure at the same time." With the digital world becoming more comprehensive and trucking companies diving into the perks of how the internet can provide information faster and support the efficiency of everyday operations at a drastic rate, it is important to stay aware and on top of the latest cyber trends. As a leader in IT, Darryn is a watchguard for new potential threats such as phishing email attempts, network intrusion attempts and more, and if necessary, discusses with the network and security team to investigate items that need closer attention.
Get Ahead of the TrendCyber protection demands more than technology; it necessitates a heightened level of awareness among its users. “One of the best ways to manage cybersecurity is to have an employee cybersecurity awareness program in place,” said Darryn. In the last several years, we have made a lot of improvements, specifically due to the ever-increasing threat of a cyber attack. One of the biggest trends is cybersecurity training for employees. As a result of the emerging trend in cyber threats, it has brought our IT department to take the lead during the month of October to share their best IT and security tips with our employees so that they, too, can help protect themselves and the company from cyber risks. “We have been implementing this for over three years, and from that aspect, we have been ahead of the trend. It continues to be one of the top solutions to mitigating cyber threats,” Darryn added. When it comes to cybersecurity awareness and protecting yourself, “Don’t be afraid to learn from others. There is a lot to learn in IT, and you learn the best by being on the job, doing things and asking questions,” said Darryn.
Top Three TipsWhen prioritizing protecting yourself and your company from cyber threats, Darryn shared his top 3 tips below:
- Use complex passwords at work and for personal accounts. Do not use the same password more than once. Use a password manager such as Bitwarden to maintain all passwords.
- Don’t save usernames and passwords in your web browser. Avoid saving passwords in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, etc. Type your username and password in every time for things like online banking.
- Take extra time to review emails. Always check the sender and look for clues in emails to spot malware. Never click a link or open an attachment unless you are 100% sure it is not malicious.