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What can cybersecurity professionals do to account for potential vulnerabilities in fleet data

Data is the heart of modern fleet operations. The fleet manager has access to an abundance of information from connected vehicles, telematics systems and IoT systems. But this connectivity raises security issues.

As data breach costs reach their highest point in decades, accounting for vulnerabilities in organizations’ data becomes increasingly crucial. Not only are data-rich fleets notoriously difficult to secure, but so is the rest of the world.

How Is Fleet Data Vulnerable?

Understanding fleet data weaknesses is the first step to assessing them. Telematics and other IoT networks are often responsible for many of these vulnerabilities. These systems offer many advantages, including tracking and managing fleets’ largest expensesThese can result in massive attack surfaces.

Although connected fleets are faced with an increasing number of endpoints, they often lack the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure their security. This is exacerbated when there are not enough security features onboard or standard practice like over-the air (OTA), updates.

Because fleets rely on many third parties, they may be more vulnerable than other industry databases. Complex, interconnected webs are common in logistics and supply chain operations, which can lead to more vulnerability from third-party users and providers. Fleets can host many endpoints and users, making it difficult to manage data access.

How to Manage Fleet Data Security Vulnerabilities

Cyberattacks against vehicles are on the rise, making it more important for both fleets and security partners to manage these vulnerabilities. Here’s how cybersecurity professionals can address and minimize these risks:

1. Review Telematics Partners

Research is the first step to secure fleet data against both user and device vulnerabilities. Before entering into business with telematics companies, it is important for organizations to review their potential providers. This will ensure that they are meeting high security standards.

It’s more than half of all organizations Have suffered a data breach by a third party. Because of their vulnerability, software and hardware vendors can weaken security systems. Therefore, it is important that they review their security practices.

Fleets need to ensure that they only deal with security providers who can provide proof of compliance with high standards. It is also worth investigating if any data breach occurred.

2. All Wireless Communications Can Be Encrypted

The movement of fleet data can also be a critical weakness. This information doesn’t stay in one place, nor can it to be useful, so fleets must manage vast networks of wireless communications. These transmissions can be secured by encryption.

Fleets should ensure that telematics devices support high encryption. Because many IoT devices don’t enable encryption by default, fleet security professionals must also ensure they enable it before using these systems.

It is equally important to encrypt this information at rest as it is in transit. All information that is stored in a fleet database must use the same encryption standards as the rest to reduce the risk of data being stolen.

3. Reduce data access privileges

Fleet data security can be further reduced by limiting access privileges. Security professionals may also limit this vulnerability. It is much easier to manage interconnected and multi-user fleet environments if access privileges are restricted.

As with many environments, it’s best to practice the principle of least privilege with fleet data. Limiting access to every app, device and user so that they only have the information they require will reduce lateral movement risks and protect against insider breaches.

Identity and Access Management measures such as role-based access control can help to track down the source of any breach. This accountability is important to prevent malicious insiders from taking advantage of the network.

4. Strengthen Authentication Controls

Manage access privileges are only one aspect of IAM. To ensure that everyone can access a database, fleet security teams need to implement systems to validate user and device identities.

Insufficient passwords are not enough, due to poor password management trends as well as the vulnerability of fleet data. Users need measures such as biometrics or multi-factor authentication. To improve detection of anomalies, systems that are more sensitive may use behavioral biometrics.

While human users are the most obvious target of these IAM controls, it’s important not to overlook devices. IAM for devices must use cryptography and token authentication.

5. Maintain a Regular Update, but Take Care

Given fleet data’s dependence on IoT systems, regular updates are crucial. Telematics devices rely heavily on OTA updates which can pose unique security risks. SolarWinds was a result of a backdoor that was installed via a compromised update.

These vulnerabilities can be mitigated by security professionals who implement update authentication controls. Digital signing and tokens are crucial. These safeguards will make sure that all OTA firmware updates are from reliable, trustworthy sources. This reduces the possibility of malicious updates.

Blockchain technology is expected to improve and it may be a valuable tool in authenticating OTA updates. These digital records, which are transparent and indestructible, provide visibility that these measures require.

It is vital to secure fleet data

Fleet data is often rife with vulnerabilities, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These strategies will help security professionals identify, manage, minimize, and mitigate these vulnerabilities to make sure fleet data is at its best without adding unnecessary hazards.

These measures are more important as fleets become interconnected. Businesses that don’t implement better fleet data vulnerability management could suffer severe consequences as attacks on these systems rise. Those who improve security earlier could outperform their competitors.

About the Author: Dylan Berger has many years’ experience in writing on cybersecurity and cybercrime. He’s passionate about fraud prevention and cybersecurity’s relationship with the supply chain. He’s a prolific blogger and regularly contributes to other tech, cybersecurity, and supply chain blogs across the web.

Editor’s Note: Tripwire, Inc. is not responsible for the views expressed by guest author articles.

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