Issue - September/October 2021


Cybersecurity—Why Should I Worry?

By Joggie Taute, Chief Executive Officer, Move4U

Cyber-crime is only increasing. In 2020, a total of 791,790 such crimes were reported to the FBI, and in the UK alone there are 65,000 attempts to “hack” computer systems every day.

But, if you are like most small- and medium-sized international moving companies, your company’s exposure to cybersecurity threats is probably not one of the things that keeps you awake at night. Don’t those larger relocation management companies and bigger booking agents with their armies of information technology folks have all that covered for me? Well, unfortunately, no; they don’t.

For sure, most larger companies in the moving and relocation industry are very concerned with cybersecurity and invest a lot of money every year to protect their technology from the increasing number of cyber-attacks that businesses experience every year. They know that they have also made contractual commitments to their clients to protect the personally-identifiable information of the transferees that they are moving; everything from passports and other sensitive documents to the value of specific items in their shipment. Now, we even have videos of a customer’s household goods to worry about.

But the “duty of care” to clients does not end at the doorstep of those larger companies. That sensitive personal information is shared throughout the supply chain by everyone from origin agents involved in export clearance to the destination agent responsible for customs formalities when you are importing the shipment—yes, that means you!

Until now, the supply chain audit process adopted by many relocation management companies—and moving companies that book a lot of corporate business—has largely been based upon trust. At most, they may have asked you to tick a box on a Request for Information (RFI) form, and rarely does anyone visit to validate that what you are saying is accurate.

At Move4U, we believe that this will change in the months ahead as cyber-crime continues to grow dramatically and more companies fall victim to it. Your largest clients will become much more interested in exactly what sits behind the check mark on that RFI.

So, what can you do to make sure that you comply—particularly as more companies adopt digital video and in-home survey and inventory technology? Here is our advice:

  • Don’t get carried away with all the “bells and whistles” and promises of growth that most technology companies offer. Always keep in mind the functionality, your budget, and the benefits that you are looking for.

  • Read up on buying technology and become more knowledgeable on the subject. These days, there are many resources available online.

  • Conduct your own RFP and invite multiple providers to demonstrate their products to get a free trial and see what your team thinks.

  • Make sure that your technology vendor is ISO 27001-accredited. This means that they have been externally audited around critical information policies that govern data protection controls, personnel and physical security, communication management, access controls and compliance.

While the threat of a cybersecurity attack is very real, with a little due diligence you can make sure that your company name is not the reason why your client lost their largest corporate client.