Threats to Tire Distributors

Threats to Tire Distributors

After rising tire prices and freight costs, ransomware attacks have become another major threat to overseas tire distributors' sales. Ransomware attacks have brought overseas tire business to a standstill.


Ⅰ. Damaged tire distributors business


1. Recently, a massive ransomware attack hit more than 1000 businesses around the world. The attack is considered by many to be the largest ransomware attack to date. This is another serious cyber incident following the ransomware attack in May. The ransomware attack led to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, the 5500-mile pipeline that ran for 58 years — stretching from New Jersey to Texas and supplying nearly 50 percent of the U.S. East Coast’s gasoline.


2. At first glance, the incident may appear to have little impact on U.S. tire distributors, but it is not. After frantic queuing at gas stations and no gasoline supply in different towns for several days, some trucks had to stop working due to lack of gasoline and many passenger car owners also changed transportation modes during non-remote trips in order to save fuel. This has directly led to a slowdown in sales in Chinese tires and daily tire deliveries have declined.


3. Although the company's business is gradually recovering, the process is slightly slow and the supply is still in short supply. Under such circumstances, the price of gasoline has been soaring and the price of many gas stations is as high as $5 to $6 per gallon, which further exacerbates people's rejection of driving. In some places, the number of cars on the road has been reduced by about half. For trucks with transportation business, the lack of oil directly leads to the chaos of the transportation business -- the tire transportation business between truck tire wholesalers and tire distributors has to be interrupted due to the lack of oil. The inventory is high and the circulation is not smooth.


Ⅱ. How should tire distributors deal with the current chaos?


1. The impact of fuel shortages on the business of tire distributors and truck tire wholesalers is one aspect. Another aspect is that since tire distributors' equipment is now connected to the Internet and most of their business is also realized through the network, tire distributors are also facing the threat of data being attacked.


2. In response to this potential threat, the company recommends that tire distributors proactively take security measures against ransomware attacks.


(1) The first is to install anti-virus software. Because installing a firewall is the best defense compared to the cost of removing viruses and the man-hours needed to recover lost data.


(2) It is recommended to use an Internet browser with the latest security protocol (such as Chrome or Firefox) when surfing the Internet and tire distributors are advised to ensure that all websites they visit are safe when surfing the Internet. Secure sites usually start with https://, where the "s" is the key, and sites that only start with http:// aren't really secure.


(3) Pay attention to keep the system up-to-date. When the operating system, point-of-sale system, or accounting software indicates that a software update is required, do so immediately. Systems with the latest software are less vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and cryptoviruses.


(4) Do not check emails or click on attachments from unknown senders. Do not open or delete suspicious emails, let alone download attachments in those emails. On emails asking for personal information or passwords, these are almost always phishing emails.


Finally, tire distributors also use cloud backup to protect data and systems to keep business data safe. Currently, ASA is working with tire distributors to help dealers keep data securely in the cloud. At the same time, ASA is working with data recovery experts to provide a high level of encryption and security while ensuring data can be fully recovered in the event of a cyber attack.


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