By Liam Connors
Our customers in logistics are telling us that digitalisation holds the key to their future ability to create and offer service excellence in short timeframes, essential to meet changing customer expectations. Their challenge is to bring to life the experiences today’s customers assume are simple to achieve, while keeping customer data secure and staying on top of data compliance and governance regulations in multiple jurisdictions.
Data drives deliveries. Connects customers to logistics contact centres. Enables decisions. Data isn’t a threat – it is the industries’ advantage. Collecting, analysing and leveraging data at speed is now as time sensitive as delivering packages.
In addition, logistics digitalisation increases the volume of potentially sensitive and valuable customer and stakeholder information stored in the cloud. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires encryption and restricted network access, but it’s also crucial that data is protected against cybercrime.
To avoid financial penalties and reputational damage, companies need to be acutely aware of the compliance and privacy regulations for each region they’re operating in. It’s essential to encourage employees to adopt best practices and consult data protection experts – especially when information is moving across borders. In particular, organisations need to consider how to protect customer and organisational data if, for example, couriers’ handheld devices are either lost or stolen.
Deploying Internet of Things (IoT) sensors or connecting Operational Technology (OT) to the wider network adds more and valuable data to work with, and can also significantly expand an organisation’s attack surface. High-profile attacks on internet-connected OT systems and IoT, together with concerns over cybersecurity, have made businesses hesitant to take the risks of embracing Logistics 4.0. Yet as game-changing technologies like these are rolled out, the most competitive organisations will use these tools to identify and eliminate inefficiencies and conserve resources, with the full support of their people.
Taking a security-by-design approach that protects your data, assets and business will allow you to connect people, devices and machines while securely mitigating against cyberattacks. Shying away from the cloud as a means of avoiding risk is perilous, as organisations would be ceding the advantage to competitors.
Those that do fall behind their rivals in the race to the cloud may find themselves struggling with agility, operational efficiency, and productivity – all critical business concerns that benefit from a successful move to the cloud.
According to a report by security and management firm Infoblox, 33 percent of Singapore organisations suffered up to S$1.348 million in both direct and indirect damages as they record breaches to their data. Security leaders are now required to do more against a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty, data divides between countries, and a growing number of attacks. Logistics companies must find a way to objectively assess strengths and vulnerabilities.
Data is at the heart of creating and offering service excellence in short timeframes, but you can’t deliver a great experience if your data is in any way defective.
There is also no escaping that cybercrime is big business, and it continues to grow as an everyday threat as more and more people and devices connect to the Internet. The chances of an organisation becoming a victim of an attack have never been greater. And in this era of fast paced digital adoption and transformation, logistics companies’ approach to data collection, quality and handling, as well as cybersecurity must continuously evolve and be enhanced as the organisation’s needs change and threats in the market shift.
Liam Connors is the Director of Digital Logistics at BT
British Telecom (BT) is one of the world’s leading communications services companies with an ambitious purpose to connect for good, helping to solve the world’s biggest challenges such as the global pandemic, climate change and cyber security through the power of technology.
For more information, please visit https://www.bt.com/about/bt.