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5 cybersecurity must-haves for small business fleet owners

March 12, 2024

In today’s digital age, small business fleet owners face a unique set of challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. With the rapid acceleration of technological advancements in fleet management tools, ensuring the security of your operations and data has increased in importance. But while cybersecurity can be daunting, there are some simple ways you can make sure your fleet stays protected. From user-friendly software solutions to practical training programs, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore how you can empower and protect your fleet from cyber threats.

Digital vulnerabilities in a traditionally non-digital industry

While your small business fleet may seem like the furthest thing away from hackers and scammers, there are ways it can be digitally targeted. From fraud to theft, the interconnected nature of today’s fleet management, both on the road and in the office, can be a challenge.

One significant concern is fleet card misuse, where unauthorized individuals gain access to fleet fuel cards or payment systems. This form of fraud can occur through various means, including card skimming or employee misuse. While fleet cards have helped fleets operate efficiently and have helped managers track expenses more easily, they still require oversight. Any small business with a fleet of vehicles should remain vigilant to detect and prevent these instances before they escalate. 

5 cybersecurity resources tailored to the unique needs of small business fleet owners:

1. Choose a fleet card that comes with built-in security features

WEX fleet cards offer a range of features to help optimize your business and protect your transactions. 

  • Enhanced security: Get enhanced protection against fraudulent transactions compared to traditional payment methods like cash or checks. Additionally, you can set spending controls and limit spending by product type, location, or dollar amount.
  • Real-time tracking: Get real-time visibility into purchases and expenses, and monitor transactions as they occur. This level of oversight enables quick detection of any suspicious activity.
  • Widely available acceptance: By using a trusted fleet card with a broad acceptance network, you reduce the need for drivers to carry multiple payment methods, minimizing the risk of exposing sensitive financial information through various channels. In fact, WEX fleet cards are accepted at 95% of U.S. fuel stations and 45,000 service locations, making them flexible and convenient payment choices.
  • Contactless payments: Many fleet cards now support contactless payment options, allowing for secure and convenient transactions without the need to physically swipe or insert the card. Contactless payments not only streamline the purchasing process but also reduce the risk of card skimming and other forms of physical tampering that can compromise card security.
  • Comprehensive expense management: Easily identify potential areas for cost optimization, and detect any irregularities that may indicate security breaches or fraudulent activity. These features allow you to proactively manage financial resources while maintaining a high level of security across all transactions.
  • Data analytics and reporting: Use these insights to make informed decisions to strengthen cybersecurity measures and continuously improve overall fleet management practices.

2. Cybersecurity training and awareness 

Equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond to cybersecurity threats effectively. There are many free online courses that teach cybersecurity. In fact, in 2023 the U.S. Department of Defense released a new cybersecurity training program dedicated to small businesses. The “Secure Our World” program includes four learning pillars that cover the most pressing cybersecurity concerns today:

  • Strong password use and management
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Identifying and reporting phishing scams
  • Updating software

To keep employees updated on the latest threats, implement regular training sessions covering similar topics such as phishing awareness, password hygiene, and smart web-surfing practices. Since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, you can take the opportunity to dedicate that month towards learning, training, and updating your cybersecurity knowledge, ensuring that you and your employees stay up to speed on best digital practices. 

Lastly, create a culture of cybersecurity awareness where employees understand their role in protecting sensitive information. Lead by example, encourage reporting, and provide employees with the support and guidance to share any security incidents or suspicions. 

3. Security solutions for personal devices

If employees use their own devices for work, make sure to equip them with security systems to protect confidential business information. Personal devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones are common targets for cyber attacks, so robust security solutions – password protection, antivirus software, firewalls, and personal device encryption –  are security essentials. 

4. Create a clear and concise security policy

A comprehensive security policy outlining acceptable uses of company devices and networks, data protection guidelines, and incident response procedures, can ensure your employees understand the boundaries of things like fleet card use and personal device use at work. Educate your employees on the consequences of misuse, while also providing them with the guidance they need to be clear on best practices.

5. Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments

For cybersecurity to be effective it’s best to take a proactive approach to keeping your information safe. Consider the following steps:

  • Conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address potential weaknesses in your cybersecurity.
  • Hire third-party cybersecurity experts to perform comprehensive assessments of your systems, networks, and processes. 
  • Implement corrective measures based on their recommendations to strengthen your defenses against cyber threats.

Small business fleet owners would be wise to prioritize cybersecurity to keep their fleets safe and mitigate the risks associated with operating a business in today’s digital world. By leveraging these five essential cybersecurity tactics, fleet owners can fight against cyber threats and safeguard their business growth. 

Remember, investing in cybersecurity is not just a cost but an invaluable commitment to the longevity and success of your business. 

Learn more on how to better manage your small business:

WEX speaks the language of small business operators. Whether you’re looking to modernize your insight and reporting efforts, save on fuel costs or take advantage of the latest GPS tracking technologies, WEX offers solutions to simplify the business of running a business. To learn more about WEX, a dynamic and nimble global organization, please visit our About WEX page.

Apply for a fleet card today!

U.S. Department of Defense

Editorial note: This article was originally published on November 7, 2016, and has been updated for this publication.

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