With the world becoming more connected and businesses relying on technology more than ever, cyber-security is a fairly new but extremely important consideration for business owners.
Traditionally, the focus for security in warehouses has been physical; protecting from arson, break-ins, trespassing and theft – check out our 10 tips to increase your warehouse security for more on that.
In this blog post, we’ll cover our best practices for ensuring a robust cyber-security policy in your warehouse with common threats, actionable tips and free resources for training your staff to be cyber aware.
What Are The Risks of a Breach?
Many will see cyber-security breaches as an inconvenience at worst, but failing to secure your business can have a number of costly repercussions including:
– Damage to your brand and reputation. For example, in a distribution and fulfilment centre, suppliers may be hesitant to use your services for their products if you’ve had a breach in the past.
– Downtime not only costs the business big, but can result in orders not being fulfilled, again damaging your brand and potentially leading to negative reviews online.
– Loss or damage to infrastructure and software.
– Should data be stolen during a breach, you will likely be legally obliged to make a statement and contact all those affected.
Be Wary Of Spam Emails
A single scam email can successfully compromise an entire warehouse operation, be that the fulfilment system, IT infrastructure, stock system or warehouse management system.
Whilst many spam emails look like random sales emails (and many of them are), there is a real risk that any attachments or links within these emails contain hidden viruses or malware that go on to compromise your entire system.
What should I do if I receive spam email?
If you receive an email you think is a scam, don’t open it! Instead, forward the email to your IT provider before quarantining it and blocking the sender.
As well ensuring you take appropriate action when you receive spam, there are a few practical things you can do to cut down the amount of spam your business receives:
– Install a third party anti-spam filter – ask your IT provider for their recommendations based on your current system.
– Flag any spam emails as spam/junk – your email client will then block any further communications from associated addresses.
– Discourage staff from using their work email for personal
– Never reply to spam emails – this will open your address up to more.
– Be careful who you give your email address out to.
– Use a generic email on your website, (info@, admin@, hello@ etc.) as opposed to a personal work email – scammers may use your name to find out who you are and seem more legitimate when contacting you.
Update Your Firewalls and Anti-virus Protections
Every computer, tablet, mobile, PDA or other device in your warehouse that isn’t protected is an open door for cyber criminals to access your valuable data and otherwise obstruct your operation.
As well as ensuring you have adequate protection on all your devices, you should update it when prompted. These updates usually contain patches and protection for new methods of online attack.
Audit Your Suppliers
In 2013, the debit and credit card data of around 40 million customers of the retail giant ‘target’ was compromised by an online attack. The cause of the attack? A third party air conditioning supplier.
In order to keep target stores running efficiently and at a comfortable temperature for shoppers, target granted third-party access to remote into their system to carry out ongoing maintenance.
When the supplier’s system was then compromised by an employee misplacing their login details, hackers had access to target’s system, allowing them to access sensitive customer details.
Here are some tips for ensuring that a breach via a third-party supplier doesn’t undo your cyber-security efforts:
– Only use third-party suppliers you know and trust – be sure to do research and read reviews before choosing a supplier.
– Question your current suppliers about the cyber-security measures they have in place in their own business.
– Set levels of access to your system based on what the supplier needs e.g. – your air conditioning supplier’s third-party access should not allow them to access customer details.
Train Your Staff
As with any improvement in the running of your warehouse, training your staff is essential for success and cyber security is no different. Follow our top tips to ensure that your staff don’t become the weak link in your cyber-security procedure:
Make sure your staff are aware of the companies cybersecurity policy.
– Promote regular changes of passwords for work devices.
– Make cyber-security an agenda item in your team meetings and 1 to 1’s if applicable.
– Clue your staff up on spam emails and what to do with them.
– Stress the importance of safe-browsing whilst work to staff members.
– Consider investing in cyber-security Alternatively, GOV.UK has a free comprehensive course which can be found here.
We hope we’ve helped you make your warehouse more secure online, can we help you make it more profitable too?
Get In Touch With The Pallet Racking People
With a range of space-saving solutions including pallet racking, mezzanine floors and partitioning systems – we’ll maximise every bit of space in your warehouse to keep it running as efficiently as possible. Call us today on 0800 345 7088 for a free quote or send an email to email@example.com
Make sure you follow #TeamAdvanced on Social media for all our latest news and offers.