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Protecting Your Fleet

October is cybersecurity awareness month. Just as some stylized mechanical ghoul can startle passerby, inexplicable fleet losses have a frightening element to them. This is especially true given modern supply chain issues, and the rising cost of doing basic business.

Since October is cybersecurity awareness month, here we’ll briefly explore a few aspects of risk management associated with maintaining fleet vehicles in 2022. From dash cameras to tracking devices, and their digital management using Big Data, you’ve got a lot more capability to protect operations and optimize them toward greater overall profitability.

To that end, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing cybersecurity breaches in itself can be financially lucrative for your business. This is no trivial thing–all the way back in 2016, San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) rail line was hacked. Sure, it’s a public mode of transportation; but that happened in the heart of Silicon Valley. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. Just to drive that point home, Uber was hacked in the same area just a few weeks ago. So consider these fleet management cybersecurity best practices:

  • Thoroughly Evaluate Telematics Hardware and Software Prior Acquisition
  • Assure Existing Policies and Procedures Are Actually Effective
  • Assure Only Appropriate Individuals Have Vehicular Access
  • Stay On top of All Relevant Updates
  • Proactively Optimize Security

Thoroughly Evaluate Telematics Hardware and Software Prior Acquisition
Basic issues you’ll encounter with faulty telematics hardware or software may involve GPS jamming, cellular sniffing, firmware manipulation, and phishing–you can read about them in detail here. Better telematics hardware and software is more naturally secure. Consultation and investigation can help you determine what’s best for your particular fleet.

Assure Existing Policies and Procedures Are Actually Effective
Security policies from five years ago are better than none at all, but not by much. Five years ago, big data fleet management was still in its infancy; it wasn’t quite as common. Now it’s everywhere, and becoming integral. Eventually it will be taken for granted. It is accordingly integral to proactively upgrade policies and procedures so they keep pace with technology development. Tech is in continuous optimization, even after Moore’s Law.

Assure Only Appropriate Individuals Have Vehicular Access
Just as in the military only those on a “need to know” basis get certain information, only those who need to have access to vehicles or their telematic data should have it. Implement policies of this variety as an added protection.

Stay On top of All Relevant Updates
Risk management in part means staying on top of software updates, as these include patches of code to fix vulnerable areas of programming. Automatic updates to firmware are to be recommended, consultation helps you find your best balance. 

Proactively Optimize Security
Finally, fleet technology needs to be proactively optimized in line with known security best practices. Just as you patch automatically, and keep policies up-to-date, you need to look at other optimal areas where you can expand security capability. This is a moving target, so it’s worthwhile to develop a system that has flexibility to track said target.

Reviewing Digital Security This October
Remember, October is cybersecurity awareness month. Maybe it’s worthwhile for you to examine existing fleet security and optimize accordingly. Practice thoroughly evaluating telematic tech before buying. Assure existing policies and procedures effectively obstruct cybercriminal intrusion. Limit vehicular access, stay on top of updates, and optimize proactively. Such tactics should help your fleet operate at a secure optimum. The technological goal posts of big data and fleet management are constantly moving. Innovations are advantageous, but be security-conscious.