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Securing the digital world for trucking and beyond

April 14, 2017
As much as some of us would enjoy completely ditching all the digitization going on in both our personal and work lives (and count me among them!) the is just no escaping it – in trucking as well as everywhere else for that matter.

As much as some of us would enjoy completely ditching all the digitization going on in both our personal and work lives (and count me among them!) the is just no escaping it – in trucking as well as everywhere else for that matter.

Recent research conducted by information technology (IT) provider DocuSign put that into perspective for me. According to that firm’s study, digital methods of doing business are no longer viewed as a “nice to have” by consumers or business professionals – they are an absolute prerequisite.

Indeed, out of the 1,000 consumers and corporate executives polled by DocuSign, almost 90% of consumers want the option of completing transactions digitally while more than 60% of C-Level executives expect businesses to offer digital options for completing such transactions.

"If companies aren't already going digital to accelerate the process of doing business internally, they need to do so for their customers," noted Scott Olrich, DocuSign’s chief strategy and marketing officer, in the study.

“Today's consumers demand the ease, speed and convenience of doing business digitally – and if your organization doesn't, they will find a modern business that does,” he warned.

[That goes double for trucking, as technological disruption for the freight industry picks up speed. Go here, here and here for more that.]

Here are a few more findings regarding the “desire for digital” from DocuSign’s survey:

  • Two in five consumers have had a document lost in the post in the past year, resulting in 62% of consumers not feeling comfortable sending important or sensitive paper documents that way.
  • 59% of consumers believe that organizations using legacy processes – such as paper forms – are outdated when compared to their peers who are digital.
  • 57% of consumers would choose to interact with companies that offer digital methods of completing transactions over those that stick to those dated, paper-based processes.
While executives appear to lag behind consumers in the move to digital, those same executives are starting to recognize its importance to their own consumers and the future of their businesses – with 85% citing digital transformation as a top priority within their companies, DocuSign said. Here are some further trends developing along those lines:
  • 52% of the executives polled by DocuSign are looking to digital to improve their customer relationship management (CRM) functions.
  • 51% are focused on enhancing customer service through digital means.
  • 46% are aiming to improve client satisfaction/their client experience with digital technologies.

Yet don’t for a minute think this “digital transition” is going smoothly. In fact, DocuSign’s poll found that 44% of senior business decision makers initiated digital projects without consulting their IT departments.

Other potential pitfalls cited in the report include a lack of funding (highlighted by 46% of respondents) and the need to modify data infrastructure before implementation (tagged by 54%).

However, in a more positive vein, a separate report issued by global cybersecurity firm Thales dubbed the 2017 Global Encryption Trends Study and based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute highlighted that many businesses around the world are now stepping up efforts to deal with electronic security compliance, increased threats, and the implementation of encryption to protect sensitive data.

That report reveals enterprises have accelerated adoption of encryption strategies, with 41% of 5,000 respondents from 13 countries including the U.S. noting that their companies already have encryption strategies in place.

Such “encryption protocols” are very important from a security perspective as more and more companies shift their data systems to cloud-based networks.

Other key findings from this report include:

  • 67% of respondents take one of two routes: they either perform encryption on premise prior to sending data to the cloud, or encrypt in the cloud using keys they generate and manage on premise.
  • 37% said their organizations turn over complete control of keys and encryption processes to cloud providers.
  • 31% are currently using or planning to use Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) with Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) deployments, with 20% claiming the same for Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) deployments. Overall, usage of HSMs with CASBs is expected to double in the next 12 months; a jump from 12% to 24%.
  • Use of HSMs among organizations grew to its highest level ever, at 38%, and of those respondents, 48% said they own and operate HSMs on their premises in support of cloud-based applications.
  • At 55%, “compliance” is the top driver for encryption, followed closely by protecting enterprise intellectual property (51%), customer information protection (49%) and protection from external threats (49%).

"The accelerated growth of encryption strategies in business underscores the proliferation of mega breaches and cyberattacks, as well as the need to protect a broadening range of sensitive data types,” noted Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute.

“Simply put, the stakes are too high for organizations to stand by and wait for an attack to happen to them before introducing a sophisticated data protection strategy,” he stressed. “Encryption and key management continue to play critical roles in these strategies."

Those are definitely things truckers need to keep in mind.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr 1 | Senior Editor

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