Lead Forensics

The warehouse cybersecurity challenges

Effective cybersecurity is a major challenge for the modern warehouses. In this blog, we’ll be investigating why this is, and how industry experts are attempting to tackle these obstacles.

In the past, computer warehouse management systems were isolated from external input with local networks and robust firewalls. However, modern warehouse systems connect with the outside world. For example, track and trace systems monitor orders delivered by trucks to customers. This increased connectivity presents a greater cybersecurity challenge as it is susceptible to cyber-attacks and malware infiltration. Even in warehouses reliant on manual handling and storage equipment, successful cyber-attacks can result in severe consequences such as theft of sensitive customer data, including addresses and credit card details, disruption of online orders, blockage of payment processing access and prevention of order tracking.

Fleer Baars and Julian Gonzalez Verbeck of computer vision company Prime Vision recommend that warehouses protect themselves with strict security protocols, including two-factor authentication required to log into systems and restricted server access.

Added complexity arises when security systems and equipment are manufactured by different companies. For instance, location tags attached to clothing on heavy duty garment rails may be part of a system designed by a development team distinct from those responsible for the sorting machine. The varying systems could have been developed using different programming languages, making it difficult to update security measures across each system.

Fleer Baars and Julian Gonzalez Verbeck propose a security-by-design approach that seamlessly integrates cybersecurity into the whole warehouse system and has consistent security updates, without requiring any downtime. When updating a warehouse or building a new one, cybersecurity should be the foundation of all IT systems.

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