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White Paper on cybersecurity spells out the dangers and the solutions

November 24, 2021
By Polaris Transportation

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Polaris Transportation Group, a logistics and transportation company with leading-edge technology in advanced automation, has authored a White Paper on Cybersecurity. This year has seen an increase in ransomware attacks, and includes the shutdown in the spring of America’s largest gasoline pipeline, and more recently in Canada, the entire healthcare system of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Our White Paper explains how serious this is today and what an organization can do,” says Dave Brajkovich, Chief Technology Officer of Polaris. “But some industries are particularly vulnerable. That includes financial and healthcare institutions that handle sensitive data, and our own industry of transportation with all the supply verticals.”

In May the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said there had been a three-fold increase in ransomware attacks over the previous year. The Polaris White Paper poses five immediate questions an organization faces in a ransomware attack:

  1. What exactly has been stolen?
  2. What systems are down?
  3. How much will it cost to fix?
  4. What social impact will this have on the organization?
  5. What are the legal implications?

Says Brajkovich: “Organizations that haven’t made serious investments in security are vulnerable and are targets. Hackers steal data and commit identity theft. Once data is captured, they can use it on the dark web and do a lot of damage.”

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The White Paper describes the signs that indicate an organization is hacked.

  1. Your software vendor has been attacked.
  2. Your systems begin to downgrade as employees see their software systems running low.
  3. Someone clicks on a suspicious email and a hacker gains access to your data, including online banking.
  4. Signs of suspicious network activity appear.
  5. You get a message saying files are encrypted and now face a ransomware situation.

Brajkovich, who co-authored the White Paper, says the days of antivirus protection providing sufficient security are long gone because the hackers are so sophisticated. The White Paper offers basic recommendations to strengthen IT security in any organization. These include:

  1. Install solid SIEM (security information event management) protection.
  2. Hire dedicated IT security management staff and services for monitoring your proactive/counter-active measures.
  3. Have end-user training programs on cybersecurity awareness for all employees.
  4. Have two-factor authentication solutions for senior executives, if not for the whole organization.
  5. Establish firm policies for privacy and systems use.
  6. Establish a disaster-recovery plan for IT security that incorporates a return-point objective and a return-to-operations plan.