DG Technologies President Talks Cybersecurity at National Trucking Meeting

NEW ORLEANS, March 8, 2024 – Mark Zachos, president of DG Technologies, was in New Orleans this week leading the conversation on cybersecurity in the trucking industry for the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

Zachos, an expert in the fields of in-vehicle communications and vehicle cybersecurity, is the chair of TMC’s Cybersecurity Issues Task Force, a position he has held for the last five years. He and DG Technologies design technology for in-vehicle networks in the automotive and trucking industries, including secure diagnostics, reprogramming and data extraction devices and tools. A Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) fellow and past chairman of SAE’s Detroit Section, Zachos also teaches at University of Detroit Mercy and is the director of the school’s Vehicle Cyber Engineering Lab, which he helped create.

Mark Zachos speaks at the TMC Annual Meeting in New Orleans

The Cybersecurity Issues Task Force was commissioned this week with looking at exploring preventive cybersecurity methods, developing guidelines for fleets to create their own cybersecurity programs, standardizing over-the-air engine control module (ECM) programming through specific protocols that allow fail safe options and secure messaging, working with other associations to strengthen related standards by fleet user influence and examining the development of a reporting and responding alert program for industry users.

Cyber threats come in many forms and with varying motives, Zachos said. Some cyber criminals are looking for private or proprietary data to sell on the dark net or to leverage as ransom from companies, while in other cases, the threats might originate from another country’s efforts to undermine the United States’ logistical systems or infrastructure.

Zachos explained that while cybersecurity on the I.T. side of many companies often is tight, the potential threats on the maintenance side are not as well understood. “It’s kind of new ground,” he said.

“The idea is that in a truck you have the electronic control units communicating with each other,” he explained. “The bad guys know they have the technology to listen to that communication and to reverse engineer it, and maybe inject something into that communication stream that disrupts the operation of your vehicle. And it may not be a shutdown event it may be just something to slow you down, something to make your business a lot more inefficient.”

But it also could cause an entire fleet to shut down, he said, and there are still many in the industry who don’t believe it can happen to them. So, Zachos continues to work – through TMC, other industry organizations, the University of Detroit Mercy and his own company – to inform, educate, create products and help set industry standards in efforts to identify and head off cyberattacks before they can cause damage.

“There are always new recommended practices that are presented, discussed and balloted, and all of us look forward to offering our ideas that will improve maintenance in the industry,” DG Technologies sales and marketing manager John McNelis said of this week’s TMC meeting and exhibition. “DG Technologies plays a key role in offering expert information that is used to create new industry standards,” McNelis said.

TMC’s annual spring meeting and exhibition draw more than 5,000 leaders in commercial vehicle transportation, including presidents and CEOs, senior maintenance and equipment executives, directors of maintenance, fleet managers and other key decision makers. TMC bills the event, held March 4-7 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, as the premier technical conference for maximizing fleet performance and efficiency in the trucking industry, calling it “the one-stop shop for fleet education, supported by the industry’s only member-driven best practices.”

DG Technologies was in booth 3832 for the event, which ran from March 4th-7th, 2024

DG Technologies, which Zachos started more than 35 years ago, also had a booth at the event. McNelis said the exhibition gives him the opportunity each year to talk up new hardware and software that will join the company’s catalog, which currently includes the DPA XL heavy-duty diagnostics device and Synercon Forensic Link Adapter crash data extracting tool, “and how these new products and services can optimize truck maintenance and uptime.”

Mike Jewell, DG Technologies’ senior sales engineer said he looks forward to the event for the chance to continue marketing and promoting the company to further grow brand awareness and to maintain and grow its reputation as a trusted source for vehicle technology. “It’s also important to attend because it allows DG to learn firsthand what’s going on from industry leaders and also to influence it with our expertise and product know-how,” he said.

DG Technologies works in association with many domestic and foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and tier 1 and 2 suppliers to the automotive, heavy-duty, agriculture, off-road, cybersecurity, military and recreational vehicle transportation markets and has a long affiliation with SAE International, the American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) and tier 1 and 2 supplier organizations. The company is a leading provider of secure aftermarket diagnostic products, engineering development tools and heavy-duty vehicle digital forensics. In 2019, DG Technologies’ parent company, the Dearborn Group Inc., acquired Synercon Technologies, which specializes in vehicle crash data extraction. Zachos runs both companies from his offices in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Contact DG sales:  

John McNelis
(248) 888-2000
33604 W Eight Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335 

Technical Support:
(248) 888-2000 

DG Technologies
33604 W Eight Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 888-2000 

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