Locate2u the Company & its Products ▾

Locate2u Pulse is a software platform designed for any delivery or service business. Learn more here.

Locate2u News

Locate2u News offers up-to-date logistics and e-commerce insights from across the globe, keeping you informed on industry trends and developments.

Locate2u Pulse

Locate2u is a software platform designed for any delivery or service business. Our solution helps these businesses improve their route efficiency, improve their customer’s delivery experience, and increase productivity, all while reducing the time it takes to plan routes.

Exclusive: Cyber security expert shares strategy to keep businesses safe

Exclusive: Cyber security expert shares strategy to keep businesses safe
Exclusive: Cyber security expert shares strategy to keep businesses safe

With large organizations and many moving parts, it “only takes the [cyber] attacker once to get it right,” and they are in. Australia has been on high alert for hackers lurking around every web corner for the last few months, compromising cyber security.

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) warns that “malicious cyber activity” continues to increase in frequency, cost, and severity compared to 2022. Nearly 100,000 cybercrime incidents were reported to ReportCyber in the last year, an increase of 23%. This translates to one cyber attack every 6 minutes.

Locate2u News sat down with Troy Hunt, Microsoft regional director, web security consultant, and owner of the blog “Have I Been Pwned.”

“We’ve seen so many data breaches that have been very serious to large organizations just in the last 12 months, let alone what we see globally.”

A cyber breach left logistics operator DP World Australia offline for three days at the weekend, meaning containers were stuck. 

Food and grocery sectors are more vulnerable

The food and grocery sector covers a broad supply chain, which includes processing, packaging, importing, and distributing fresh produce and daily necessities. According to ASD, this is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, with over 16,000 businesses. 

It also represents 32% of all manufacturing jobs. “The sector’s complex supply chains and growing online sales mean food and grocery organizations have a large attack surface,” says the ASD security report.

“It’s a reminder that everyone is under attack because there’s an enormous amount of value for attackers in gaining a foothold in these companies,” warns Hunt. 

He says it’s not only Australia that has a target on its back, but cyber attacks are also increasing globally. “We’re on the internet, and that’s why we’re a target. We have many more organizations, many more websites, many more people, many more hackers.”

More businesses are operating in the digital space, allowing integrations into different applications, which increases the opportunities for hackers. “There is now more attack surface than only a few years ago.

Looking after consumers’ concerns

Why would a logistics company like DP World be hacked? There is much at stake when it comes to data. 

But customers are the innocent bystander who is also affected. There is speculation that this cyber attack, which left containers stuck in the port for days, could impact supply chain production. 

“All of this is part of the pipeline of components. We saw during COVID-19 what happens when various parts of the manufacturing process get disrupted. Suddenly, you can’t buy a new car because that little bit of the headlight wasn’t available,” says Hunt. “That said, [those]were very prolonged periods of outage.”

Common thread of vulnerabilities

“It’s usually a combination of things: a lack of technical control,” believes Hunt. Businesses should avoid the following at all costs. 

  • Don’t run vulnerable software.
  • Never use outdated software; ensure regular updates.
  • Eliminate human factors; don’t install compromised applications.
  • Don’t let staff hand out information to third parties; educate staff on the importance of data confidentiality.

Hunt warns that many cyber attackers are getting “very sophisticated” these days.

“Things like DP World, particularly where there is ransom. Crews [are] involved that are very professional criminal organizations, it can be quite sophisticated,” says Hunt. 

How to build cyber security resilience 

According to ASD, “critical infrastructure assets and networks are attractive targets for malicious cyber activity as these assets need to hold sensitive information. [It] often [has] high levels of connectivity with other organizations and critical infrastructure sectors.”

The ASD has given guidelines to businesses:

  • Use cyber security best practices, such as ASD’s Essential Eight, for critical infrastructure risk management.
  • Maintain an asset registry and review devise security regularly.
  • Scrutinize ICT supply chain vulnerabilities and prioritize secure-by-design products.
  • Assess cyber security controls before purchasing new software hardware.
  • Treat cyber incidents as inevitable in risk and business continuity planning; practice response plans regularly.
  • Communicate with ASD during suspicious incidents.

Cyber security trust in the aftermath

“I would suggest that [you] ensure the [software] you have as an absolute baseline is maintained,” says Hunt. 

“The broader question is, how do you keep the trust of your customers? As customers, we don’t have a lot of say in the fact that organizations are digitizing everything.”

 He acknowledges that customers often mistrust a company after a cyber breach.

 “Very often, [digitalization] is for our benefit because we want things faster and more cost-effectively. The challenge here is how trust can be regained after incidents like this.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

Capterra Pixel