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by Sean Killcarr, in Trucks at Work

cybersecurityIn the world of long-haul over-the-road trucking, concerns about the “robustness” of computer passwords might seem a little thing. However, as more and more of the freight world relies on an ever-growing series of electronic systems for moving cargo across the country – if not the globe – the issue of password security will become a mighty one indeed.

New analysis conducted by computer systems firm Swivel Secure concludes that a “culture of carelessness” amongst U.S. business owners is jeopardizing their company security and inviting cybercrime

Based on an independent survey of 2,500 U.S. workers conducted by The Leadership Factor in May 2014, nearly three-quarters (74.2%) of business owners keep a written log or have another offline system for recording their passwords.

The study has also revealed that 63% of business owners continually re-use the same passwords to log in to different systems and that 61% remain “unconcerned” with the security of their corporate systems.

This is worrisome because it flies in the face of other cybersecurity trends, though, such as greater awareness of the issue at the federal level – which you can read about here – and also in the vehicle manufacturing sector, especially where “hands free driving” is concerned.

Yet Swivel’s poll also suggests that such password security “ambivalence” is trickling down to influence the attitudes and behavior of employees, with 73% of U.S. full time workers admit to re-using the same batch of passwords online, with a third (33%) using less than five different passwords to access between 25 and 50 personal and business sites.

“A significant proportion of last year’s $46 billion global spend on cyber security will have been wasted as a direct consequence of password reuse,” noted Fraser Thomas, VP-international for Swivel Secure.

“By continuing to rely on this outdated form of authentication, U.S business owners are undermining their investment in firewalls and other costly network security measures and leaving themselves dangerously exposed to cybercrime,” he stressed. “Password reuse is rife. As a result, it may only take one employee’s Twitter or Amazon password to be hacked for unlawful and undetected access to their company systems to be gained.”

The study also suggests that online security “diligence” appears to decrease with age, as 71% of 55-64 year olds in the survey said they were “unconcerned” by the security of their information technology (IT) systems at work, compared with 47.1% of those aged between 25 and 34.

“For many, logging in with a username and password has become little more than a mechanical inconvenience,” Thomas added. “Business owners must take responsibility for securing their systems at every level within their organizations.”

One more thing to think about as trucking is only expected to become more “digitized” in the future.

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