Insider Blog

SMC³ conference to feature panel on supply chain cybersecurity

At the Jump Start 2021 virtual supply chain conference, logistics leaders will discuss everything from government regulations and transportation trends to the economy. Even though this year’s conference is 100-percent remote, organizers have worked tirelessly to bring engaging speakers and thrilling, of-the-moment topics to the Jump Start “stage.”

One of those topics, which seems to be a perennial issue, is cybersecurity. As companies in the freight transportation space continue to embrace supply chain digitization to provide better customer service, a robust network defense becomes more important.  

Joseph Finney, chief operating officer of Dependable Supply Chain Services, and Former Roadrunner President Frank Hurst will discuss their recent experiences with cybersecurity. Roadrunner experienced a breach of its systems in 2018. Ahead of the panel, Finney sat down with SMC³ to talk about the current state of the market and to preview his Jump Start comments.

How has Dependable stayed connected with its customers during the pandemic?  

While we still make daily pickups and deliveries to our customers, the majority of the communication from sales is over the phone and by email. We do have some old and new customers that we have been able to make face to face calls, some in their offices and some want to meet outside their office building. 

Will remote working/the greater use of technology tools become the new normal in the supply chain, or is this embrace of technology just a temporary solution until the pandemic subsides?  

We feel there is a loss of a sense of belonging, teamwork, spirit, etc., when we have people working from home. It is difficult to stay up with everything going on when you are not part of the activity in a busy service center or even the general office. Trying to use video conferencing, with varying quality of users’ connectivity and internet speed, makes some of those meetings very challenging to be successful and definitely do not replace face-to-face meetings.

During Jump Start, you’re speaking about your experiences dealing with a hack of your system. What did you learn during that ordeal that can help others avoid the same fate?  

There should be no lack of preventative efforts put forth to not have it happen, as there is no worse of a feeling of helplessness when the bad guys have taken over your entire ability to communicate or operate, and there is nothing you can do about it immediately. There are thousands of attempted entrants into our systems every week, and it takes the right network protection to keep the hackers out, which is why it is necessary to have a very good security consultant team on your side. You can never guarantee you will keep them out, so having a well-designed contingency plan to get your operations back up quickly and without having to pay a ransom is paramount.

Do you think there’s a reluctance to embrace technology in the supply chain because of the risks?  

I think the industry continues to accelerate in the use of technology to make quicker and more educated decisions. With so many instances of especially ransomware hacks of big and small business, it keeps business cognizant of the need to insure that they are doing everything possible to keep them out.

To hear more from Joseph Finney and other freight transportation industry experts, register today for the Jump Start 2021 supply chain conference.

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Categories: Education, Supply Chain