Transportation is critical infrastructure that helps us move goods, services, and people quickly, safely and securely. We rely on many forms of transportation daily, whether we realize it or not. Online orders must be shipped and transported using several lines of transportation. Even the milk or bread you buy from the grocery store goes through multiple levels of transport – from shipment to the store to you bringing the items home. Maybe you use public transportation, like the train or bus, to get to work. Perhaps you drive your car everywhere. No matter where you are, transportation is essential for the functioning of our world and transportation IT solutions are critical to keep the entire industry operational, up-to-date, efficient and secure. There’s a lot of technology that’s critical to properly manage and maintain the function of transportation. Whether it’s digital bookkeeping applications or a GPS, technology is essential for any form of transportation. That is where IT (information technology) for transportation comes into play.
Technology and the Transportation Sector
When thinking about the information technology and systems behind transportation, there are a few key factors to look at. This includes the internet, wireless connections, future technology, and mobility. The use of the internet in transportation spans far and wide – from simple use of applications like Google Maps to locate a destination to electronic logging. This intersects with the need for wireless connectivity and mobility; considering how “mobile” transportation is, having stable connections to maintain this volume of mobility is essential. Tech is always changing, and monitoring those changes is essential for the transportation industry to stay efficient in today’s day and age. Ever think about how much a simple GPS has changed in the last 15 years? People have gone from using a physical GPS to a mobile apps (applications) to help them reach their destination.
What are Transportation IT Solutions?
Managed IT services are essential for the transportation sector. Your IT managed service provider (MSP) will help you every step of the way, from creating and establishing a good network to maximizing security of a System Architecture Document (SAD) network, among many other things. A good managed service provider can help transportation businesses prioritize data management, cybersecurity, communication, integration, and uptime. As mentioned earlier, it takes a tremendous amount of technology to keep the transportation sector moving. Protecting, securing, and managing all of that technology is essential to maintaining operations.
Some transportation IT solutions include:
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)
- Transportation management systems
- GPS (global positioning system)
- Cloud Computing
Having Transportation IT Solutions – Benefits
Transportation IT solutions make it possible for businesses to maximize their efficiency. Transportation management systems (TMS), for example, help businesses optimize and plan the movement of goods. TMS software allows companies to plan network needs, optimize travel routes, manage internal/external carrying methods, track shipments, automate processes and handle payments, just to name a few. This electronic solution is just one of the ways IT helps to maximize efficiency.
Good IT solutions can reduce costs. Having the right managed service provider will give you the best value at a reasonable price.
With the right IT solutions, companies can expedite delivery and shipments.
Cybersecurity IT Solutions
Cybersecurity has become an astounding priority across all industries, as businesses everywhere, especially in the USA and UK (studies show that these countries are the most highly targeted) are forced to implement necessary protocols. The threats are simply far too great and have become commonplace, so taking measures to prevent them in the first place is most wise. Cyber attacks in the transportation sector could impact functionality, slow down or hinder processes and in some cases, even affect national security. High quality business-grade antivirus, constant monitoring of servers and devices, and two-factor authentication are some of the essential cybersecurity measures that every company must take to protect their network.
Benefits and Interconnectedness
The transportation sector overlaps with countless other industries. Practically every company relies on transportation in some capacity, even if it’s simply the train that an employee takes to get to their office. Any technological issues that can impact these transportation systems could easily impact other industries. Shipments of food to restaurants or grocery stores can slow down. Employees who use public transit might not make it to work on time, or make it to work at all (remember Hurricane Sandy?). Flight, ground, sea or drone delays can be more than inconvenient, potentially delaying life-saving pharmaceuticals, blood and more. Clearly, any impact on the functionality of transportation would have a significant effect on others in many ways, as a result of the interconnected nature of the system. Just with these examples alone, and these are just a select few, it’s evident how transportation IT solutions could make all the difference.
What Risks does the Transportation Sector Face?
The transportation sector faces a lot of common cyber threats including ransomware attacks, viruses, and malware. Both software and hardware could be at risk. Unbeknownst to many, any piece of hardware or software that’s not secured properly could easily become a liability. All you have to do is nothing; isn’t that unnerving?
There have been numerous accounts of cyber attacks and threats that hit big-name transportation companies in recent years. One example close to home was the incident at JFK in December 2022. Two men from Queens hacked the JFK yellow cab dispatch system. Typically, drivers have to wait in a long queue before getting a passenger; this is by design, in order to evenly distribute the amount of fares among the drivers. By hacking into the dispatch system, the two men modified the queue order to allow some drivers to get to the front of the line. This may sound minor, yet those responsible were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is something that most New Yorkers have probably utilized at some point. Perhaps you even travel on MTA subways or trains daily. A cyberattack in 2021 threatened three of the MTA’s computer systems for several days. The MTA claims that no customer data was stolen or leaked, and that attackers did not tamper with their critical system, but the mere presence of these attackers poses enough of a risk. Interestingly enough, lingering questions about the impacts of this cyber attack remain. Even though the effects were not entirely detrimental, the fact that cyber criminals attacked the MTA is enough evidence to show that cyber risks abound.
Other recent data breaches include:
- May 2022: The US Department of Transportation faced a breach that exposed the personal information of 237,000 federal employees.
- Oct 2022: Toyota suffered a breach that affected 30,000 customers that used its T-Connect telematics service, a free high-performance navigation application.
- Nov 2022: AirAsia suffered a ransomware attack that jeopardized the personal information of 5 million passengers and employees. This included name, DOB, country of birth, location and most concerning, their “secret answer” question. Information like this can be paired with other information obtained from the dark web, putting together easy-to-target profiles for identity theft.
Transportation IT Solutions for Your Business
Computero works with various industries and small to medium sized businesses in New York. Our service areas include Nassau and Suffolk counties of Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. In some circumstances, we’ll even consider areas outside of our usual radius, so don’t hesitate to call us and ask. We understand the importance of having a phenomenal IT infrastructure, and we can help your company manage all of your IT needs. Even if you don’t know where to begin, we’ll draw out all of your options and make sure that you understand what it is we recommend for you and why. If you’re currently looking for IT services or have any questions about our Transportation IT Solutions, contact us today.