Outdated Strategies In Maritime Cyber Security

The process of digital transformation has impacted all sectors of society, including the maritime shipping and port sector. Many port operators have increasingly tried to integrated cyber technology into port activities to increase their competitiveness. Unfortunately, digitalisation has become the major vulnerability for the emerging cyber threat.

The International Association of Ports and Harbors’ (IAPH) cyber security guidelines are intended to help senior executive decision makers make an objective assessment on the readiness of ports and port facilities to prevent, stop and recover from a cyber attack.

Patrick Verhoeven, IAPH managing director, commented: “We have produced this set of port and port facilities cybersecurity guidelines targeting the strategic rather than technical level. They are designed to create awareness among the C-level management of port authorities.” 

In June 2017 the Maersk shipping company was hit by a cyber attack from the purely destructive NotPetya virus. The virus entered Maersk’s systems through a widely used piece of tax accounting software in Ukraine. Maersk was not the intended target for the attack, but the consequences for the company were very real. The virus spread through the company globally and made all their applications and data unavailable for several days. Real world operations, including its Rotterdam terminal, were seriously affected, with losses in the region of $200-300million. 

What Are The Resources Needed?

The new guidelines address the question of what port organisations need in terms of resources to effectively manage cyber security risks. These guidelines have been produced from the work of 22 experts from IAPH member ports from around the world as well as Associate Member cyber security specialists and contributors from the World Bank.

The guidelines have been submitted to both the IMO Facilitation and Maritime Safety Committees for consideration. They form part of the joint industry call Accelerating Digitalisation of Maritime Trade and Logistics: A Call to Action led by IAPH in June last year, which includes reviewing existing IMO guidance on Maritime Cyber Risk Management on its ability to address cyber risks in ports, developing additional guidance where needed.

Gov.UK:        Kaspersky:         Thetius:        Port Strategy:        Science Direct:     Springer

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