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Background

Brexit: how can the logistics sector adapt to the changing face of data regulation?

Posted by Philip Bindley

The logistics industry is a driving force for the UK, employing one in 12 of the UK’s working people and contributing more than $118.3bn worldwide. As technology continues to advance, businesses within the sector have increasingly automated elements of their operations, boosting efficiency and further cementing the industry as a pillar of the economy.

But despite its growing criticality and digital transformation, the logistics industry is surprisingly not held to any standard for the exchange of data under current EU regulations.

Not only does this mean that transferring data can be inefficient, necessitating logistics businesses to manually convert data back and forth for other organisations in the supply chain, but it also has implications for the security of that data.

Importantly, regulations to govern the industry’s use of data will likely become stricter after Brexit – an eventuality that logistics businesses are currently unprepared for.

 

The impact of Brexit

Although we can only speculate what may happen post-Brexit, it’s very possible that the UK will no longer be bound by EU rulings, and will instead be responsible for enforcing its own regulations. As such, it’s plausible that new customs regulations on the transport of goods in and out of the UK will be brought in.

In this instance, it’s highly likely that these regulations will suddenly necessitate that data becomes rigorously regulated, forcing logistics businesses to adhere to a set of minimum security standards around data. Indeed, the European Commission’s recently established Digital Transport and Logistics Forum has already begun groundwork for proposed regulation on electronic freight transport information – evidence of the potential for new regulation that will affect both EU and non-EU members.

Such regulations will likely be all-encompassing and should apply to logistics businesses whether they manually convert data from one format to another using Excel macros, via a custom piece of software or by a large-scale logistics platform. Without being able to display the due diligence necessary to comply with these new regulations, logistics businesses could be at severe risk of financial penalties, and could lose out on custom to those businesses that can.

 

Ensuring compliance

With these changes to regulation on the horizon, it’s important that logistics businesses realise the importance of assurance in a post-Brexit landscape. The Bunker has been a trusted partner of businesses in regulated industries for many years, and our auditable assurance can help businesses within the sector to validate, evidence and provide sufficient guarantees of compliance should these changes come into effect.

By securing this assurance now, businesses can get ahead of the competition and hit the ground running in the event of regulation changes.

The transition to a fully regulated logistics industry will likely be rigorous, but at The Bunker we can also help businesses to achieve the basic levels of technological competence that will be necessary to facilitate this change, which will future proof your business against additional regulatory and other developments in the long term.

In addition, businesses can lay the foundations for compliance with future regulations by following existing standards that may or may not apply to their business. For example, by adhering to the PCI-DSS standard, even when no credit card details are held or processed, businesses can evidence that their services are built and held to a rigorous, recognised standard.

Again, The Bunker’s IT security and auditable assurance services can help you to achieve compliance with PCI-DSS. The wider Cyberfort Group, of which The Bunker is a part of, can also provide pen testing and compliance services from sister companies Arcturus and Agenci, ultimately providing the complete solution that the logistics industry needs to prepare itself for any regulatory changes after Brexit.

 

Conclusion

With a huge shake up to the logistics industry potentially coming in the near future, its vital that businesses get ahead of the curve today, since being able to evidence compliance could become mandatory in just a few months’ time.

By implementing auditable assurance now, logistics businesses can be placed far ahead of the competition, whilst guaranteeing basic technological competence will serve to future proof the industry for any Brexit related changes.

To find out more about we can help you on your journey, visit: https://www.thebunker.net/contact-us/