Case Study

Total Security Fuels Comprehensive Development

China’s total amount of social logistics has exceeded 300 trillion yuan in 2020, according to China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP). The supporting and pivotal role of logistics in epidemic prevention and control, as well as the resuming of work post-pandemic highlights the industry’s role in the national economy. The industry’s boom must be credited to technology, and the future of the industry is dependent on the competitiveness of technology.

Yunda Express (Yunda), China’s leading courier company providing express delivery, logistics, e-commerce distribution and warehousing services nationwide, has long been committed to adopting information technology in its business.

It boasts two growth drivers: “IT infrastructure” of cloud computing, big data, disaster recovery construction and cutting-edge technology development, and “IT application and R&D” that targets industry application, endpoint experience and strategy implementation.

With the help of technology, Yunda continues to improve service quality and expand service areas to enhance core competencies. However, just like the two sides of a coin, technology also brings challenges and risks to Yunda.


Security challenges faced by the logistics industry

First, endpoint and IoT security. With the acceleration of enterprise informationization, more and more data terminals and applications are added to the network, including various PADs, cameras, and positioning systems. They are connected to Yunda’s open platform for information collection and interaction. Each day, about 50–60 million parcels are sent across the country by tens of thousands of vehicles and hundreds of thousands of couriers. Scanning is required at each link, and data collection should be done at each node. That means billions of collections a day and close interactions throughout all links. Therefore, in addition to great computing power, efficient endpoint security is necessary to prevent any threat and risk at the front end.

Second, cloud security. The cloud enables more agile Yunda systems and sharply cuts the costs of operation, maintenance and hardware and software procurement. Although cloud services have become one of the core competencies of large companies, the tens of billions of order records generated also make the logistics industry a vulnerable target for hackers. Creating a more secure cloud environment is already a must for courier companies to effectively avoid security breaches, block external attacks and prevent information leakage.

Yunda’s attitude towards data security and cloud security

Data serves as the foundation of technology. Data computing will greatly improve a logistics player’s dynamic response. In a sense, data is the force and root cause driving the company forward. This is also why Yunda keeps working to “put the company into computers and make the organization computable”. Building a cloud-based logistics system to shape a new form of intelligent logistics is what Yunda has been striving for. As early as six or seven years ago, Yunda’s technical team had built the Yunda Logistics Cloud that integrated the company’s 16 core express business systems on the cloud. This has enabled Yunda to embrace various business forms and systems throughout the e-commerce logistics ecosystem.


Yunda’s choice

Logistics companies’ networks have a number of partitions and layers. To protect the network boundaries from unknown external attacks, the boundaries in different partitions should be managed separately with proper protection measures, so as to block external attacks from accessing internal networks. For a long time, Yunda has been relying on its self-built security operation center (SoC) which pools core data internally. The data security therefore needs to be ensured from two aspects: one is to guarantee the security of all kinds of terminals, eliminating the possibility of any threat attacking the system at the physical layer, and the other is to safeguard the security of network boundaries, keeping attackers all out at the logic layer. For all-round security protection, Yunda started to cooperate with thirdparty security vendors to enhance cloud native security with third-party security solutions. This is why Yunda chose Palo Alto Networks.

First, Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity bellwether, has been honored a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls for nine consecutive years.

Second, Palo Alto Networks’ NGFW and endpoint security products are a good fit for the logistics industry. By employing three unique identification technologies, i.e. APP-ID, User-ID and Content-ID, its next-generation firewall solution allows principle-based visibility and control over applications, users and content. Palo Alto Networks delivered the industry’s first ML-Powered Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) in 2020 which provides inline machine learning to block unknown file- and web-based threats, enabling online, real-time defense against unknown threats. Backed up by these cutting-edge technologies, Palo Alto Networks boasts the industry’s fastest unknown threat analysis, turning unknown threats into known ones in seconds and allowing the security platform to perceive. That means Palo Alto Networks can instantly locate cyberthreats that have just surfaced in the Western Hemisphere and upgrade the signature for its customers worldwide. In addition, the built-in IoT security features of NGFW can help customers manage and protect various IoT endpoints. With the combination of NGFW and Palo Alto Networks’ leading Cortex XDR endpoint security solution, the integrated security protection that covers networks and all endpoints is made possible.

Last, Palo Alto Networks offers Prisma™ Cloud, a comprehensive cloud native security platform with broad security and compliance coverage—for applications, data, and the entire cloud native technology stack—throughout the development lifecycle and across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.


Intelligent technologies ensure cost savings for Yunda users

Endpoint security or cloud security, self-built SoC or cooperation with third-party security vendors, all these efforts in technology are to achieve synergy of links and provide customers with safe, fast, flexible and quality services. The ultimate goal is to save cost, time and resources for customers. For Yunda, maximizing savings for customers has always been its goal, which serves its ambition of building a supply chain logistics industry that is aware, connected, and intelligent in all aspects.