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The Role of IAM within the Freight Brokerage Industry

In this first of a series of articles covering Carrier Identity, we’ll explore the importance of IAM for the freight industry today and describe how Highway makes IAM more accessible.

There’s been a lot of recent buzz around carrier identity and the importance of “knowing your carriers” to prevent fraud.

True carrier identity goes beyond mere fraud prevention, building an Identity and Access Management (IAM) infrastructure that creates robust and secure ecosystems of trade between brokers and carriers. Yes, true carrier identity does prevent fraud, but it does so in a systematic and sustainable way.

Highway is the company that first brought the concept of Carrier Identity to market. Now, we’d like to provide a firm definition of Carrier Identity that outlines its role as IAM for the freight industry and places it in the context of the day-to-day work of freight brokers and motor carriers.

In this first of a series of articles covering Carrier Identity, we’ll explore the importance of IAM for the freight industry today and describe how Highway makes IAM more accessible. If you have any questions about achieving Carrier Identity for your organization, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us to schedule a brief conversation.

What is IAM?

IAM is becoming a trending topic in all sorts of industries around the world. This acronym refers to the consent of Identity and Access Management, which is a framework of policies and technologies that collectively ensure the right individuals have the appropriate access to resources within an organization’s IT environment.

IAM is currently being used to ensure compliance with regulations, improve the productivity of users, and risk data breaches — all of which help mitigate the risk of fines, loss of capital, and damage to the reputation of organizations.

In practice, IAM can include multi-factor authentication, monitoring user activity to ensure appropriate access, and taking action to provision or de-provision access to specific users during on- and offboarding processes.

Why IAM?

While IAM isn’t necessarily a new topic, it is growing in popularity and interest due to these three factors:

1. Increasing Demand for Digital 

The world around us continues to become more digital. We see this across every sphere of our lives, from how we order takeout to how we engage socially. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend toward digital has exploded. Today, we all expect service providers to include a digital experience as part of the customer journey. This emphasis on digital is strong enough that we often rate companies or products based on their digital experience — a smooth digital experience with high levels of security.

2. A New Emphasis on Identity

Along with this drive toward seamless digital experiences, we’ve also seen identity emerge as a new security perimeter within applications and digital services. A focus on identity has allowed for smoother sign-up experiences and more secure access for users. That said, it has also led to a significant increase in identity-based threats and attacks across all markets.

“Identity-based attacks are the number one cybersecurity threat facing organizations today.” - Crowdstrike

3. Growth in Vulnerable Vectors

Within the freight industry, instances of fraud have spiked drastically over the past two years, underscoring the obvious lack of protection against identity-based attack vectors (with fraudsters impersonating both carriers and brokers to steal from them). Various entities once deemed safe have been infiltrated, their data stolen or changed during this influx of fraud into the freight space. Even as this has become the new reality, service providers have failed to reinforce processes with higher levels of security. A high risk of stolen cargo continues to be a reality.

How does IAM impact my brokerage? 

1. Increase Security

When you choose an IAM solution, you align your business with current industry security standards. IAM controls access to sensitive information, and it is crucial in maintaining a secure and efficient carrier network. This is especially true as the complexity and volume of fraud attempts increase across the industry.

2. Boost Retention

Freight brokers are in the unique position of dealing with both sides of the logistics coin — both with the carrier (contractor) and shipper (customer). Building secure processes gives your customers peace of mind and trust in your brand. With IAM in place, they know their freight will get to its destination with a higher degree of safety, which can boost customer retention and loyalty.

On the other side of the coin, IAM requires transparency in how your carriers connect and interact, clearing the way for better communication and more efficient carrier workflows. Ultimately, this allows you to build a network of carriers that you want to work with.

“Companies with extremely strong omnichannel engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.” - Aberdeen Group

Enhance Productivity

Using the right IAM provider protects your business and gives you the tools needed to perform at a higher level. Automating access control to your network allows your team to focus on the core business, lessening the resources required per load covered.

Effective IAM systems within your workflows also lead to fewer security incidents through restricted access based on your protocols. With strong IAM tools integrated into your business, you avoid more burdensome IAM workflows that can restrict your business growth and scalability.

What then is Carrier Identity?

Carrier Identity is a new concept in the freight industry, but it’s IAM for your carrier network. Through a Carrier Identity Engine, each user is authenticated, and their ability to work on behalf of the carrier is authorized before any access to the system is granted. 

All facets of the carrier are monitored, including any changes to identity that do not meet your compliance standards — potentially disqualifying them from access to your loads. User identity assessments and continuous monitoring of your carriers streamline processes and increase productivity. Partnered with a dynamic set of compliance rules, Carrier Identity builds a secure firewall around your loads. With Carrier Identity in place, you remove the noise from your carrier selection and vetting process.

Discover the Power of Carrier Identity in Your Business

Fraud prevention is a byproduct of the right IAM system operating in and around your existing infrastructure. When you find the right Carrier Identity provider, it will work constantly in the background of your existing workflows and tech stack, alerting you only when there’s a problem that needs attention. There’s no lengthy development or integration process — just an easy-to-configure Carrier Identity solution that delivers results immediately.

At Highway, we brought the concept of IAM to the freight industry through our Carrier Identity Engine. Discover the difference Carrier Identity can make in your organization and learn more about our solution when you schedule a demo.