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How Freight Factoring Brokers Help You With Cybersecurity

In just the past few weeks, news of several major breaches has hit the media. LastPass, a password manager is one that prompted businesses around the world to take immediate action and change all of their passwords in a hurry. American Banker recently released its list of the “10 Biggest Financial Data Breaches in 2022.” The information that was taken or exposed is concerning. Here are some of the most alarming from that list

  • Cash Express: Birthdates, Social Security numbers, contact information, and financial details of more than 106,000 consumers were exposed.
  • Boeing Employees’ Credit Union: Social Security numbers and names of more than 344,000 customers were exposed.
  • Flagstar Bank: Names and SSNs for more than 1.5 million customers were exposed.
  • Lakeview Loan Servicing: Credit and debit card numbers for more than 2.5 million customers were exposed.
  • Receivables Performance Management: Social SSNs for more than 3.76 million customers were taken.
  • TransUnion South Africa: A breach exposed the information of more than 5 million customers around the world.

The TransUnion breach is particularly alarming as it turned out the breach occurred because the company was allegedly using “password” as the password on one server. You expect others to keep your information safe, but what measures do you take to do the same?

When you own a trucking company, cybersecurity is a top concern. You need to take measures to keep your employees, brokers, shippers, and your company’s information safe. Did you know that freight factoring brokers can help you with cybersecurity?

The Transportation Industry Is a Target

According to the 2022 Cybersecurity Almanac, cybercrime is expected to reach $10.5 trillion in the next two years. Ransomware attacks attacked every 11 seconds in 2021 and it’s expected to reach every two seconds in the next eight years. The transportation industry is one of the five most commonly attacked sectors.

Even a small trucking firm can find a cyberattack to be a very expensive venture. It’s estimated that a small to medium-sized business pays about $38,000. Larger businesses pay upwards of $550,000. There are also business losses adding to these costs.

95% of Breaches and Other Cybersecurity Issues Are Caused by Employee Error

The most common reason for a cyberattack is employee error. It’s that simple. If you look at some of the worst breaches and hacks, it’s often an employee who clicked on a link or attachment in an email they believed was official. Instead of asking the IT specialist, they just install it and create a wealth of problems. An employee may take a call and believe the scammer or have a weak password, such as first initial-last name combinations or, worse, “password.”

Take Steps to Stay Secure

If you have one person reading and responding to company emails, there’s more control over your system. You can limit access to other workers. For the employees you do have on staff, training on how to spot suspicious emails is key. Train your office workers to never click an attachment or link within an email.

Answering phones is another area where safety protocol must be taken. Create a set of rules that are taught to all employees. They should direct any financial issues or questions to you or your dedicated account manager and try to access or share client information with someone on the phone. They cannot trust that the caller is truly who they claim to be. Spoofing numbers is much too common, so a legitimate call can end up being a fake one.

Some employees must have access to your system. Set their privileges to the bare minimum to prevent collateral damage if someone is hacked. Make sure they use difficult passwords that use a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is also incredibly useful in preventing hacks by requiring the user to complete several tasks to prove their identity.

If you have an IT team, verify that they’ve set up a security suite that offers the best possible protection against cybercrimes. If you’re the IT person in your office, it’s on you. Make sure you have a security suite on every computer and update the definitions and software daily, providing there’s an update available. Have real-time monitoring turned on and run scans regularly. Keep all other software updated with the latest security patches.

When you use freight factoring, truckers send their bills of lading directly to you. You can then access the app and upload the bills of lading to request payment. You’re not sending out a number of invoices through the mail or by email. If they have access to the app, they need to use MFA to lower the risk of a cyberattack.

Don’t Agree to an Invoice Factoring Arrangement Without Asking These Questions

Before doing anything, look at the invoice factoring company’s website. If you’re on Chrome, look for the padlock on the left side of the web address. If it’s not there, the website is not using HTTPS, which is safer than the old HTTP. Avoid companies that haven’t updated to the more common, more secure protocol.

What do you know about your freight factoring company? You need to find out more about their cybersecurity measures. Do they have permissions set up to limit the number of employees who view your information like bank account information? Do they have an IT team keeping up with training and security updates?

Are financial transactions sent using encryption? How do they handle DDoS threats if their servers get flooded with requests to block out legitimate users?

Do they use cloud-based solutions to avoid having sensitive data sitting on their hard drives? Where and how is information backed up and how is it stored? If it’s on an external hard drive, is that locked away in a fireproof safe?

Is it possible to not share your banking information at all? Could you get a fuel card or debit card with the invoice factor and have all payments sent to that card? You can control the transfers of cash from that card to your bank, or withdraw cash from the card after we submit your payment and deposit the cash with your bank.

Fuel cards are also helpful because you can use them to pay bills and cover diesel or gas fill-ups when your truckers have to stop. You don’t have to use your checkbook again to cover bills. Everything can be completed through your card and your bank’s online bill pay system.

Partner With a Freight Factoring Company for Security

Remember when we said that it’s best to give as little access to emails, files, and accounts as possible? With a freight factoring arrangement, you reduce the number of employees you need in your office. Fewer employees lead to fewer errors in judgment. A freight factor does the invoicing and pays you directly, which cuts out extraneous staff.

Saint John Capital is a freight factoring specialist who is devoted to keeping your information safe. Talk to us about our company debit card, same-day payments, and 100% advance factoring arrangements. With us, you pick and choose the brokers or shippers we factor, and you can continue invoicing your favorites if you so choose. Ask us about our safety measures and how we do everything possible to protect you from cybercrime.

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