TT Club Warns of Risks Posed by Cybercrime

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The TT Club, the leading international transport, freight and logistics insurance provider, warns that companies in the supply chain sector do not understand their costs and liabilities as cybercrime continues to increase.

It appears that like few other risks, cybercrime knows no bounds; the more you consider it the greater the potential risk exposure appears. From email and communication channels through to fully automated terminal operations, businesses are reliant today on increasingly inter-connected and automated IT solutions. The cyber criminal's ability to hack into email accounts and communication channels is well established, so the risks to the logistics operator cannot be ignored.

Whilst technological advances undoubtedly provide greater operational efficiencies, and opportunities for carriers and operators through the supply chain to mitigate their exposure to theft and fraud, unfortunately they equally benefit criminal organistations. As invasive cyber technology becomes more widely available and cost effective, a greater risk to legitimate trade is emerging, exposing operators to both economic and commercial damage.

The effectiveness of business operations is dependent on continuous and secure communications channels to receive and fulfil orders, as well as instruct on-site and remote/mobile personnel. Both interruption to service and infiltration are obvious critical risks.

Iain Sharples, TT Club Senior Underwriter in Sydney warns, "Criminals have been swift to leverage the capacity of the internet to obscure identity and location in order to carry out crime and espionage."

Sharples continued, "It is critical that this risk is recognised since it exposes businesses to both loss of reputation as well as industrial espionage. Never underestimate the value of the data your business retains or generates electronically. Whether intellectual property, financial information or your customers' commercially sensitive data, even what appears to be the most benign information can prove extremely valuable to a criminal organisation. Data are everywhere and the lifeblood of most organisations."

The methodology and technology behind crimes are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Typically, advanced technology 12 months ago may today be accessed through a freely downloadable application. Systematic tracking of individuals, particularly through social media, as well as specific cargo flows, enable criminal organisations to identify the weakest link in the supply chain and strike with minimal risk.

Sharples says, "The very nature of the international supply chain in facilitating movements across borders is an ideal partner to fulfil trafficking of people, drugs, and other illegal trades, such as dumping waste, as well as intercepting valuable cargoes. Criminal organisations are known to have employed hackers to facilitate the trafficking of drugs by compromising IT systems at the destination port in order to generate release codes, allowing the subject containers to be collected. TT Club has also highlighted concerns arising from bogus trucking contractors, particularly through cargo clearing sites."

As a result, TT Club urges management boards to carry out thorough risk assessments and consider strengthening their 'e-perimeter fence', as well as ensuring only approved software programmes can be run on systems/networks and educating employees about the risks. As with the physical environment, the human element is a critical strength and weakness. In the electronic environment, this can be reinforced by network monitoring of activity and behaviours, in addition to appropriate segregation and set-up of access rights.

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For further details, please contact:

Roddi Vaughan Thomas/ Shelly Durrant/ Chiara Barreca - Broadgate Mainland

+44 (0) 207 726 6111

Notes to editors

The TT Club

The TT Club is the international transport and logistics industry's leading provider of insurance and related risk management services. As a mutual insurer, the TT Club exists to provide its policyholders with benefits, which include specialist underwriting expertise, a world-wide office network providing claims management services, and first class risk management and loss prevention advice.

Customers include some of the world's largest shipping lines, busiest ports, biggest freight forwarders and cargo handling terminals, to companies operating on a smaller scale but whose operations face similar risks. TT Club specialises in the insurance of Intermodal Operators, NVOCs, Freight Forwarders, Logistics Operators, Marine Terminals, Stevedores, Port Authorities and Ship Operators.

The TT Club is managed by Thomas Miller.

About Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services.

Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller's origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Thomas Miller also manages insurance facilities for all the self-employed barristers in England & Wales, as well as trustees of pension schemes, patent agents and housing associations.

Principal activities include:

Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals

Investment and wealth management for institutions and private clients

Professional services

Building defects insurance

Staff Author

TT Club