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Top Trends In Cybersecurity

As Cybersecurity continues to evolve, here are five trends Freight Forwarders should watch for:

1. Passwords

Passwords are going away. This is great news for both security professionals and end users. With more than 80% of breaches resulting from weak or stolen passwords, users are bombarded with messages to create complex passwords for every system they access. This, in turn, has led to bad habits like keeping passwords in Excel spreadsheets or using the same password for multiple systems. The introduction of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) is allowing firms, even as large as Microsoft, to eliminate the requirement for passwords while, at the same time, making their systems more secure.

2. E-Mail Security

E-Mail continues to be the weapon of choice for cyber attacks. Some of the old ways of sending and receiving e-mail (POP3, IMAP, SMTP) are being discontinued. Microsoft will stop supporting them in October of this year. Other vendors are likely to follow. This may stop older e-mail systems, or devices like scanners, from being able to send or receive e-mail. There will also be greater adoption of initiatives to secure e-mail such as DNS filtering (when you click on a link in a message, it is checked to make sure you are not being directed to a hacker’s site) and DMARC (a way to ensure that the person sending you an e-mail is really who they say they are).

3. Supply Chain Compliance

Customers are realizing the importance of ensuring that their suppliers comply with cybersecurity requirements. This is especially true as they look for productivity improvements by integrating supplier systems with their own. More customers (and insurers) are demanding proof of compliance. Many require completion of a cybersecurity survey. There will be increasing demand for compliance with cybersecurity standards such as SOC 2 or ISO 27001.

4. Convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT)

Whenever the discussion of cybersecurity is raised, most people immediately think about their computers and the networks that connect them (IT). However, as companies push to increase productivity and reduce costs through the use of robotic systems, intelligent thermostats, security systems, etc., they are creating new ways in which cyber attacks can occur. There will be an increase in affordable Vulnerability Management tools that can find, and recommend solutions for, vulnerabilities in this converged environment.

5. Quantum Computing

The impact of quantum computing on cybersecurity won’t be felt for a few years yet. However, it is on the horizon. As access to this powerful technology becomes more widespread, the fear is that hackers will be able to use it to easily decrypt any data they can access. Encryption (for example when you see HTTPS: at the beginning of web link) is the bedrock for keeping data secure. It is based on the concept that it takes years of continuous computing power to decrypt data. With the introduction of Quantum Computing, this would be reduced to minutes, making current encryption schemes useless. Many experts are predicting that the changes required to protect against this potential threat will be similar in size to those that were required to prepare for Y2K. Some estimates put the expenditure to prepare for the year 2000 at $100 billion in the US alone.

Drew Simons is a trusted advisor with close to 40 years’ experience in IT and Business Management. He works with senior management at small to mid-sized firms and helps them realize the benefits available from the appropriate implementation of business processes and technology.

He has held senior roles with Bell Canada, Bell-Telic, PC Service Partners (an IBM subsidiary), and others.

In 1998 he founded SICON CRM, a consultancy which helps firms increase their profitability through the implementation of the processes and systems that drive Customer facing teams in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service.  Simons founded Roxville Technology in 2009. Roxville acts as the bridge between Senior Management and their IT Teams and/or suppliers.

He is also a Professor at Seneca College.

He is a member of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association’s (CIFFA) Technology Committee.

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