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Taking Cybercrime Seriously: Europa Fights Back

Taking Cybercrime Seriously: Europa Fights Back
Leading logistics operator, Europa Worldwide Group, is championing the fight against cybercrime, as figures reveal cyber criminals are shifting their attention from consumer-targeted attacks, to the more profitable business sector.

Statistics show that more than 43 per cent of businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months and future analysis reveals that, specifically in the logistics industry, cybercrime could result in damages amounting to €6 billion by 2020.

Cyber attackers are using a range of scams, most of which involve asking for money. The most common breaches or cyberattacks are as a result of fraudulent emails or impersonating the organisation online, rather than malware attacks. Phishing is a particularly significant problem. Companies such as Europa also deal with daily fake digital messages about invoices for fake goods, complaints about missing consignments and requests for payments.

Rob Ross, Finance Director at Europa Worldwide Group, said: “According to Government statistics, the average cost of a cyberattack to a large business is over £9,000, with some costing significantly more. When global shipping Maersk was hit by a cyberattack last year, the cost was put at around $300 million. The sort of figures we’re talking about are obviously substantial – whether that’s as a result of extorsion or blackmail, legal costs, loss of revenue from systems failing, reputational damage or falling for a simple scam.”

Rob continues: “At Europa we want to remain agile even whilst we are growing rapidly. Reacting fast and effectively to whatever happens across the whole business is a key focus. As a finance department, we are at the front line of these particular money-related demands, but any area of a business could be targeted for exploitation by criminals.”

While email scamming is the primary method of cyberattacks, it is by no means the only way in which a company is vulnerable. In logistics especially, with multiple partners operating in different countries, cybercriminals will search for and exploit the weakest link in the supply chain. Buoyed by the kudos and technical satisfaction which comes from a successful hack, hackers are constantly developing tools with which to attack organisations, with little or no regard for size or value. IT Director, Richard Litchfield is continually improving security to prevent penetration, but says it’s an ongoing battle.

Richard Litchfield, IT Director at Europa Worldwide Group, said: “The global nature of cybercrime, its fast-moving pace and the sheer magnitude of the issue means the situation changes daily as more threats are developed. We carry out regular penetration testing and every time a threat is perceived we re-examine the procedures we have in place, but it’s a continuous process. So much so that we are employing a full-time member of staff to take responsibility across the business.”

There are a number of cybercrime issues, the latest being – online organised crime, with gangs using the dark web to source readily-available encryption tools to conceal their activities and secondly, hackers are now offering buy on demand packages, so criminals can easily source the data they need to attack the company of their choice. Insider threat is also becoming a more common problem – staff working from home are having their computers compromised and staff who leave companies are sharing information.

To combat these issues, Europa would advise companies to take a pragmatic approach – investing in training and education, so that all staff members know how to work securely, recognise a threat and perhaps most importantly – why it matters. Organisations should also continuously review their processes based on what they’re facing – improving firewalls, internal password systems etc. Businesses need to find a balance – putting too many procedures in place stops the flow and can be detrimental in the long run, preventing efficiency and profitably.

Europa Worldwide Group is a specialist road, air & sea and warehouse operator which employs more than 750 staff across 14 sites in the UK, Hong Kong and Belgium.

Caption: Rob Ross and Richard Litchfield