As the importance of route planning and the use of mobile solutions has grown to help optimize fleet performance, the market has shifted to cloud-based software solutions. While they offer improved security versus traditional on-premise solutions, they are still subject to cybersecurity attacks that can disrupt operations.

Vendor capabilities to protect fleet operators vary so it is crucial to prioritize the cybersecurity capabilities of the products and company behind them as part of the evaluation process.

Digital lock and various other icons and graphs representing cybersecurity

This article explores the 10 most important cybersecurity considerations for selecting a new solution or evaluating the risks that could exist with the current one.

1. Data Encryption and Secure Transmission

One of the primary concerns in IT security for fleet routing and mobile software is data protection. Ensure that your chosen software employs robust encryption techniques to safeguard data during transmission and storage including on the mobile device. Look for industry-standard encryption protocols such as SSL/TLS (version 1.2 or higher) to secure data in transit, while data at rest should be protected using strong encryption methods.

2. User Authentication and Access Control

Implementing a solid user authentication and access control system is crucial. Only authorized personnel should have access to sensitive data and functions within the software. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide more than just a password for access. This ensures that even if login credentials are compromised, unauthorized access remains difficult. Single sign-on (SSO) should be part of the process to minimize the number of login credentials required and streamline business processes.

3. Regular Software Updates and Patch Management

Unfortunately, cyber threats are constant for all solutions and continuous updates need to be applied to address vulnerabilities. Regularly updating your fleet routing and mobile software is vital in maintaining security. Consider software providers that have a strong track record of prompt and seamless patch management and updates to mitigate potential threats.

4. Penetration Testing

Routing and mobile solution providers should have ongoing penetration testing programs to ensure their solutions are unlikely to be compromised. The vendor should be able to provide the results of their latest penetration tests and remediation plans if any significant vulnerabilities are provided.


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5. Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

Data loss can be catastrophic for any business. It is important to understand the robustness of the vendor’s data backup and disaster recovery plans to ensure that even in the event of a security breach, data can be recovered and is accessible. The vendor should have a plan to test their backup and recovery procedures to confirm their effectiveness.

6. Compliance with Industry Regulations

Different industries may have specific regulations governing data protection and security. These regulations go beyond the software to include access rights and training of the vendor’s employees. Ensure that your fleet routing and mobile software vendor complies with relevant industry standards, such as HIPAA for healthcare or GDPR for European businesses. Non-compliance can lead to legal and financial consequences.

7. Security Auditing

Constantly monitor the software for any unusual activities or vulnerabilities. The vendor have a monitoring plan including alerts for suspicious behavior and perform regular security audits to identify weaknesses in their security posture. The sooner you detect a breach or vulnerability, the better your chances of mitigating the damage.

8. Incident Response Plan

Despite the vendor’s best efforts, security incidents can still occur. The vendor should have  an incident response plan that outlines the steps to take in the event of a security breach. This plan should include communication protocols, legal considerations, and recovery procedures to minimize the impact of the incident.              

9. Dedicated Cybersecurity Organization

Cyberthreats are constantly evolving and the level of expertise required to keep ahead of those threats makes cybersecurity an important organization within the routing and mobile vendor. Not only does there need to be expertise to ensure the solution is secure, but cybersecurity needs to be part of the software design process. Therefore, the vendor needs to have a dedicated organization that monitors network cybersecurity performance, but also actively works with the development and operations teams to keep them current.

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Cloud-based fleet routing and mobile software are revolutionizing the way businesses manage their fleets and their importance to daily operations is increasing. However, the reliance on cybersecurity falls heavily upon cloud-based providers.

That is why it is critical to understand the capabilities of the current vendor to determine the risk they might present today and their relationship going forward. If evaluating new vendors, a significant weighting should be placed in the selection process on their cybersecurity capabilities to help ensure they can be a secure long-term partner.

Descartes has the scale, resources, and expertise to take a holistic approach to routing and mobile solution and operations cybersecurity. Contact our experts to learn more about cybersecurity for route planning and mobile solutions and their ability to deliver value to your organization.

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