Technology is causing major disruption across the logistics and warehousing landscape, and while some of this change is for the better, it does come with some challenges as well.
For every pound saved by reducing workloads and improving efficiencies, there are also negatives to consider. Among these is the increased risk of cyber attacks within the supply chain, as companies rely more on tech and hackers notice the potential for major gains.
While the supply chain is notoriously slow to embrace new tech, and the update for automation across the landscape has been sluggish, companies need to be aware of the rising risks and how they can protect against them.
Here are some of the main ways that a cyber attack could affect warehouse managers and what they need to do to prevent and manage any digital security issues they might face.
Shut Down Operations Temporarily
Almost every warehouse relies on some form of digital technology, be it security solutions or inventory management software. If these tools go down, then that could make it almost impossible for your warehouse to continue to function.
Shutting down your warehouse, even for a few hours, can cost thousands of pounds and lead to major delays. As such, you need to make sure that you reduce your chances of a cyber attack and keep physical records as well as digital ones. If your systems do go down, then you’ll still have physical documents you can use to work while you wait for your IT management team to regain control of your system.
Cause Long-Term Brand Damage
If your client records or employee data is hacked, you’ll have to let your outside stakeholders know about the issue, which could cause them to lose faith in your warehousing business. This could have a negative effect on your brand and make it harder for you to source new customers or team members in the future.
Reputational issues from cyber attacks can last for years, especially if they’re mentioned online, so the best course of action is to work to prevent an attack where possible. If a breach does occur, then you should show your service users that your business is dealing with it proactively by setting up a security operations centre (SOC). These 24/7 monitoring teams of cyber security experts will drastically reduce the risk of a future attack. Running a SOC in-house can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming, so consider working with a provider of SOC as a service like ROCK. Their team can remotely run your warehouse business’s SOC and protect your business from even the most sophisticated of cyber attacks.
Cost Money In The Form Of Fines
The total cost of your cyber security breach can be hard to calculate, as there are many factors to consider. From the cost to your brand reputation to the charges you have to pay to cover delays and lost sales, the cost can quickly spiral to thousands of pounds or even more.
One tangible cost that you might have to pay is the fine for not protecting your data well enough. If your company is found to have failed to keep its information safe, then you could have to pay a fine as punishment. The fine for breaking the GDPR regulations is a maximum of £17.5 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher. That’s a significant amount of money that could destroy your business, and it could be even more money if you broke other regulations as well. So, making sure that you remain compliant is crucial to any warehouse manager. Make sure that you follow relevant newsletters to get regular updates from oversight committees and legislators, and ensure that you’re always aware of new developments.
Make It Harder To Implement New Tech
The warehouse automation technology market is constantly evolving, and new products get launched every few months. If you don’t implement these tools, then your warehouse could get behind and struggle to keep up with its competitors or deliver the support that your users expect.
However, after a cyber security breach, you might find it harder to get these tools implemented, as your staff and business stakeholders might be more reticent about the risks of another attack. When trying to get approval for new warehouse management tech after a cyber attack, highlight the new security processes in place.
A Final Word On How Cyber Attacks Affect Warehouse Managers
As the manager of a physical warehouse, it’s easy to think that IT and digital tools aren’t your problem. You might use some of them, but their development and management might not seem particularly important to you, especially when you’ve got other vital tasks to take care of.
However, a cyber attack on your digital warehouse software tools could lead to major problems for your organisation, as listed in this article. So, you need to make sure that you understand your IT systems and the security practices in place. Also, consider signing up to relevant newsletters and getting regular updates on cyber security best practices and regulatory changes, so that you’re always compliant and informed. Having this knowledge will help you to make informed choices and ensure that you continue to do so over the coming years as the cyber security and warehouse technology landscapes continue to evolve.