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4 Tips on How to Protect Your Connected Fleet from Cyber Criminals

Posted by Scott Crawford

connected fleet

Security risks are a major concern for businesses with fleets who are connected to the internet. This risk is only expected to grow as the car industry becomes more focused on incorporating technology into smart vehicles. 

Although it may be tempting to look the other way, it is critical for business owners and fleet managers to be aware of potential ramifications of hackers gaining access to your company's vehicles and proprietary information. 

Here we identify how your connected fleet may be at risk and certain precautions your business can take to be more secure.   

How Hackers Can Gain Access to Your Company's Connected Vehicles 

There are multiple ways hackers and other cyber criminals can gain access to your company's vehicles. For example, they can hack into your fleet's wireless connections (Bluetooth or WiFi) or the electronic control unit.

Both systems control the vehicle's ability to perform different actions, such as steering and braking. Another possible entry point where they can attack is through another device like a smartphone that is connected to a port inside the vehicle.  

Once a hacker has hacked one vehicle, they can easily gain control of the rest of your fleet. This can give  cyber criminals the power to shut off the vehicle's engine, control the steering, disable the brakes and  gain access to other data. 

Tips on How to Make Your Fleet More Secure from Cyber Criminals

Now that you understand how cyber criminals can get access to your vehicles, we can discuss how your business can help mitigate risk. Here are four tips that can make your fleet more secure from hackers:

1. Be Cautious About Installing New or Unauthorized Software and Systems 

One way to make your fleet more secure is to be very cautious about installing new or unauthorized software and systems. We recommend that you only install devices and software from a trusted brand on a secure network, and only with your company's final approval.

You should also develop a comprehensive security policy that mentions different guidelines for the fleet. This precaution can greatly reduce your chance of experiencing a security breach due to a malicious software update from unverified third parties. 

2. Control Who Has Physical Access to The Company's Vehicles

Next, we advise that you store your vehicles in a controlled environment where people must have authorization to access them. This will drastically limit the number of unauthorized people who will have access to the vehicle's software. 

3. Educate Employees About the Potential Risk 

Another way to prevent hackers from gaining control of your connected fleet is to properly educate employees about the danger and potential ramifications.

You and other leaders can also develop different training security programs, policies and procedures. Highly trained employees they will have the tools and knowledge necessary to make better decisions that can protect the fleet from malicious hackers.          

4. Always Update The Vehicle's Software  

Lastly, we recommend that you frequently update the vehicle's software and other systems. The majority of reputable software companies routinely update their software to patch up security bugs to make it safer for use.

You may be tempted to ignore security updates, but it can help make your company's vehicles are more secure. Every time one of your vehicle's devices or software is not updated, you may be leaving your fleet vulnerable to a potential cyber attack. 

Wilmar Inc. Can Secure Your Fleet     

We take cybersecurity seriously at Wilmar Inc. Please contact us online or call (800) 488-8451 to find out how we keep our client's fleet safe and secure. We are a professional fleet leasing and management company that focuses on helping our clients thrive. 

Our company has provided an extensive range of customized, turnkey fleet services to small and medium-sized businesses since 1980. Feel free to check  out our list of resources for additional tips and information. 

fleet safety guide

Topics: Fleet Safety, Fleet Management, Fleet Tracking


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