Maritime Shipping Is A Prime Target In 2021

The global maritime industry is a high priority target for cyber criminals and shipping companies need to remain vigilant as the industry prepares for key security regulations coming into force, following a string of recent successful cyber attacks.

January 2021 will see the introduction of new safety rules for the maritime sector from the IMO and it will also become mandatory for ship owners, managers and operators to address cyber risks in the safety management systems on their vessels. 

To address this, GMCG Global, one of the world’s leading specialised technical, legal and management consultancy service providers to the maritime industry, has just released their latest White Paper looking at cyber crime in the industryThe world’s shipping fleets will need to be on high alert for cyber-attacks as the industry recovers from the damage caused by the global pandemic, according to Mr Ionut Paris, Managing Director, GMCG Romania. “The recent cyber attacks on companies such as Google demonstrate the sophistication and capabilities of many of the cyber criminals who have set their sights on the maritime sector.” he said.  Ionut believes the maritime industry needs to be even more vigilant in 2021 because of the increasing cyber activities related to the global transport and logistics industries.

Many of today’s attacks using digital processes are against business operations concentrating on intellectual theft, the damage to electronic systems and the hacking of sensitive databases.

The risks are not only to financial investments and operations but to seafarers’ welfare and safety. This threat will only increase in 2021, despite the global pandemic. By reviewing current cyber risk management and addressing gaps, investing in systems which automatically update software and enhancing staff knowledge and understanding, companies can ensure compliance and reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. 

In line with the guidelines set out by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) the new laboratory features hardware and software systems developed to help shipowners and operators combat the maritime industry’s growing cyber security risks. Customers are now being invited for virtual demonstrations of the laboratory’s systems and capabilities.

According to IMO’s guidelines on maritime risk management, “ships with complex cyber-related systems may require a greater level of care and should seek additional resources through reputable industry and government partners.” With the rise of smarter, more connected systems, the  IMO urges all shipping companies to demonstrate that cyber threats have been part of every vessel’s Safety Management Systems (SMS) risk assessment from 2021 onwards. 

 The maritime world is coming to terms with new remote ways of working and so we must all ensure we have the solid foundations to defend against this breed of determined cyber-criminals. The new year continues the global economic recovery and shipping will play a major part in that process. But it is vital that everyone remains on guard against the increasing threats from cyber criminals. 

Maritime Journal:     RivieraMM      Dry Bulk Magazine:        SeaNews

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