Photo: Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner

Do we know how to properly protect trucking data?

Oct. 5, 2017
Data protection and trucking

So I’ve been leafing through a new report compiled by cybersecurity firm McAfee (many of you no doubt have their anti-viral software on your PCs) dubbed Do you know where your data is? Beyond GDPR: Data residency insights from around the world that highlights the approach businesses larger and small are taking to what’s called “data residency, management, and protection.”

These kinds of reports – however esoteric they may appear to the folks operating trucks for a living – make for important reading, for data, as we all know, is becoming in many ways the lifeblood of the trucking industry; right up there with drivers, diesel fuel, tires, and cargo securement systems, not to mention the freight that pays for it all.

With all of that in mind, some of McAfee’s findings are a bit startling. The firm surveyed 800 senior business decision-makers from across multiple industry sectors in eight countries and if there is “one theme” that runs through this report, according to Raj Samani, chief scientist at McAfee, is that there is “an apparent contradiction” regarding the data protection “impulses” of respondents.

Here are few examples based on McAfee’s polling:

  • Organizations take 11 days on average to report a data breach.
  • Organizations put a lot of faith in cloud service providers. Eight in 10 respondents’ organizations are planning, at least in part, to leverage their cloud service provider’s responsibility to ensure data protection compliance.
  • Most organizations are ‘unsure’ of where their data is stored. Only 47% of organizations know where their data is stored at all times. The majority are unsure, at least some of the time.
  • Only 2% of corporate management really understands the data security laws that apply to their organizations. While a majority of respondents (54%) believe their organization has a “complete understanding” of the data protection regulations that apply to them, just two percent of senior decision-makers know all the clauses of regulations that apply to their organizations.
  • Yet companies feel hampered by data security rules. Some 51% of all respondents say their organization is being held back from technology investment because of external data protection regulations.

Thus on the one hand, said Samani, global events and a tightening data protection regime is giving senior decision makers “pause for thought” in terms of their information technology and data investments.

On the other hand, though, he stressed that most business organizations continue looking for the best place to locate their data – and they are gravitating toward those countries with the most stringent data protection rules.

“It’s critical that businesses do everything they can to protect one of the world’s most valuable assets: data,” Samani stressed. “The good news is that businesses are finding that stricter data protection regulations benefit both consumers and their bottom line. However, many have short-term barriers to overcome to become compliant, for example, to reduce the time it takes to report a breach.”

Those are issues truckers will face especially as the freight-transport industry continues to “digitize” at a rapid clip.

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