Select Page
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Distribution companies should be aware of the potential threat of a cyber attack because such attacks can have severe consequences. As distribution companies are responsible for transporting goods from one location to another, they rely heavily on digital systems and technology to track and manage their operations. A cyber attack on these systems could disrupt the supply chain, resulting in delays, lost or stolen goods, and damage to the company’s reputation.

Furthermore, a cyber attack can compromise sensitive information, including client data and financial records, which may lead to legal and financial repercussions. Therefore, being aware of the possibility of a cyber attack allows distribution companies to take proactive steps to secure their systems, protect their assets, and mitigate the risk of such an attack. Here are five steps that can be taken for distribution companies to improve cyber security.

1. Perform a Cyber Security Assessment

A distribution company should perform a cyber security assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats to its digital systems and infrastructure. This assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of the company’s security posture, which helps to identify weaknesses in the existing security controls, policies, and procedures. A cyber security assessment can assist distribution companies in understanding their current security level, testing for common vulnerabilities and threats, and evaluating the current cyber security policies.

2. Communicate With Supply Chain Partners

Cyber threats often originate from partners within a supply-chain network. Accessing shared online platforms with network partners is crucial to enhance efficiency in the distribution industry. It’s critical to be aware of any new vulnerabilities that may arise. While you cannot control others’ security measures, you can select partners who conduct regular security audits or have external security certifications. You may also consider creating a contract that mandates your partners to adhere to fundamental cyber security measures.

3. Employee Training

While imagining a person in a hoodie covertly hacking into a company’s systems is a common thought when considering hacking, the reality is that threats often come through the front door. Social engineering attacks rely on human interaction rather than bots entering a computer through the internet. Due to human fallibility, social engineering is the most significant security risk today. To significantly reduce risks, it’s essential to train employees in a few basic measures, including avoiding opening suspicious emails, clicking on unknown URLs, links, and email attachments, and preventing employees from downloading unauthorized software and apps.

4. Implement a Firewall

A firewall is a network security device that monitors network traffic, allowing or blocking data packets based on security rules. It creates a barrier between your internal network and incoming traffic from external sources (such as the internet) to block malicious traffic like viruses and hackers. However, it’s essential to conduct research before deploying firewalls. While conventional firewalls’ effectiveness is limited to their cyber security signature libraries’ extent, the latest firewalls offer protection from the inside out and further segment valuable IT assets. Additionally, it’s crucial to configure all firewalls correctly to block access to known malicious IP addresses.

5. Always Back Up Databases

To ensure data safety, it’s advisable to regularly back up critical information, such as client contacts and order details, in multiple locations. This is particularly important because if a hacker locks you out of the system or encrypts your files, all your data will still be accessible on external hard drives, reducing the severity of the impact. Additionally, it’s essential to back up and utilize cloud applications, as cloud-based applications are still susceptible to data breaches. Even if you feel secure, restoring your data might be time-consuming and challenging without a third-party backup tool.

Contact Us

Calvetti Ferguson works with middle-market companies, private equity firms, and high-net-worth individuals across the country. Regardless of the complexity of the compliance, assurance, advisory, or accounting need, our team stands ready to assist you.