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Cyber Threats To The Maritime Sector

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  • Cyber threats in the maritime industry refer to the threats to computer systems and technology that can affect shipping-related operations.
  • With the sector actively adopting various technologies to improve efficiency, cyber threats must be proactively addressed.

The threat landscape

The common threats against the maritime sector include:

  • Hackers encrypting various systems and demanding a ransom to restore operations.
  • Cyber espionage with the motive of stealing sensitive information.
  • Installing malicious software to disrupt the vessel’s computer systems.
  • Phishing attacks that are after sensitive information or funds are a long-standing threat in this sector.
  • There are also possibilities of hackers gaining access to passenger lists to allow unauthorized passengers. This, in turn, opens up the possibility of a number of attacks.

Cyber attacks in the maritime industry could result in the compromise of sensitive data and the loss of life and physical assets.

Recent measures against maritime cyber threats

A number of preventive measures and awareness programs are on the rise to battle this growing threat.

  • A three-day conference, dubbed ‘Hack The Sea’ for individuals and organizations interested in the cyber threats to the maritime sector was organized in August 2019 at Las Vegas.
  • Singapore launched a new Maritime Cybersecurity Operations Centre to boost maritime security. This new initiative aims to detect, monitor, analyze, and respond to potential cyber threats.
  • ClassNK, a Tokyo ship classification society, has announced the formation of a cross-sectional team of marine and security experts to boost cybersecurity. The approach is said to include various measures that will combine physical, technical, and organizational approaches to mitigate any risks.

Conclusion

Although the percentage of attacks are comparatively low, it is recommended that the technologies and systems used are in conformation with the latest industry standards. Apart from this, educating employees in the maritime sector could go a long way in keeping cyberattacks at bay.

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