There’s a lot of talk about viruses these days. Prior to COVID-19, when you heard the word “virus,” most of us thought about our computers. Cyber-security terminology has borrowed from the biological world because of the similar ways that viruses spread. Both rely on hosts for transmission and can be prevented with a vaccine, which for a computer comes in the form of security protocols and antivirus software.

A common form of a piracy is called ransomware. According to Norton, a leading supplier of antivirus software, ransomware “holds your personal files hostage, keeping you from your documents, photos, and financial information. Those files are still on your computer, but the malware has encrypted your device, making the data stored on your computer or mobile device inaccessible.” 

Ransomware cyberattacks are big business – so big that research anticipates that a business is attacked by a cybercriminal every 11 seconds.  The cost of these attacks has grown rapidly — $8 billion in 2018 to $11.5 billion in 2019 to $20 billion in 2020.  At this rate it could easily hit over $30 billion in 2021.

It used to be only the major companies that you heard about who were victims of cyberattacks.   This is no longer the case.  And it is becoming increasingly prevalent in the trucking industry.  Whether large or small, you need to protect yourself and your company.  If you have an on-site TMS / dispatch system, it is very easy for these criminals (who might simply be college students on a prank) to hack into your local computer and hold your business hostage.  We have heard of a couple of instances in just the last few days where this has happened to trucking companies who thought they were protected only to find out sadly that they weren’t and they were literally locked out of their own systems.   In each case, it took 2 – 3 days for them to regain control of their business.  A true Cloud based Transportation Management System can help protect you from this.

In addition, for trucking companies if hackers wanted to, they could hack into and look at your routes and see where you’re parking your trucks overnight. If you’re an over-the-road hauler or perform pickups and deliveries with domicile drivers, it’s not unusual for a loaded trailer to be sitting somewhere unattended. If a crook knows the location, they can break into the trailer and steal the freight before you even know it’s happened.

If you’ve got employee and client information, banking numbers, ACH electronic-bank-to-bank transfers, credit card type transactions (stored on your computer) you just opened up those files to a perpetrator slipping in and getting any of that data.  In the past, a widely held belief among business owners was that cloud-based applications were less secure than traditional, on-premises software.  Properly implemented Internet Applications have not only significantly increased in speed, but also in security.

Managed IT services providers have honed their craft and are now utilizing world-class technologies to protect cloud-based applications.   In fact, if you compare today’s true cloud services with traditional software, you’ll find true cloud to be far more secure.

The process of hacking and stealing data is not terribly complex. Many smaller companies conduct business using software that is installed directly on their office computer, and more often than not — no disrespect intended, it’s the user’s fault when something bad happens. Most of the time, they’ve left themselves vulnerable by picking simple passwords, such as family birthdates or even their own name, and forgetting to update antivirus software on a regular basis.  Here are some additional ways that a cybercriminal can gain access:

    • Leaving your desk with the terminal active
    • Opening an unexpected and unknown email
    • Opening an unidentified attachment or link
    • Inserting a thumb drive if you do not know the entire contents

Any of the above attacks can happen when even a single computer is connected to your local network by a VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you are using a laptop connected via VPN, you have now exposed all of your office computers and systems.

Hackers typically crawl around in a company’s network for weeks before posting a ransom amount the business must pay to have its data decrypted before it is released on public websites or on the dark web. They can also use the information they steal from one company to craft and forward a convincing email to another company — a vendor or customer with which they are familiar, that is likely to open it; then their data has also been compromised.

We try not to be too biased, but a true cloud-based transportation management system is the safest and most secure way to operate and manage your business. Since cloud-based applications like those designed by BOLT, aren’t installed on your personal computer, but are instead browser-based, with data stored behind encrypted firewalls on third-party servers, there’s nothing on your computer to steal.  The difference is that your data is now being controlled the by the Host or Cloud Computer. All data is completely restricted.  Only specified information can be exchanged – thus eliminating the threats above.

It’s not just virtual protection. These data centers are like military bases that are strictly monitored 24/7/365 — only authorized personnel have access to the premises, and onsite staff members provide additional protection against unauthorized entry and security breaches.  Multiple times a year, security experts assess the security state of all BOLT Applications and environments, and provide notice on critical updates they’ve put in place to protect our software.

Opportunity is the only opening a thief needs to obtain his/her objective. That’s why you should always lock your doors and windows when you leave your house. When you reduce or eliminate the chance for entry, you greatly reduce the risk of being an easy target for theft. It’s the same with SaaS — we understand how important the responsibility of safeguarding data is to our customers, and we are proud to exceed the industry standard when it comes to protecting your business.

Every time you update anything on your BOLT system, your input is encrypted and backed up. We’ve also built protections directly into our software, so there is no way to enter unasked data for information, such as departure times, payload, manifests, destinations or even invoicing and payroll. We will NEVER require your personal identification (such as bank accounts or Social Security numbers) other than your name. Consequently, it’s impossible to squirrel in any kind of infectious viruses or malicious software.


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