Shipping industry expects deaths, collisions and strandings from cyberattacks

Posted by PartYard Marine

DNV released a report highlighting the need for additional investment, more effective regulation, and incident experience sharing to strengthen cybersecurity in the maritime sector. Entitled “Maritime Cyber Priority 2023”, DNV’s 29-page report includes the results of a survey of 801 maritime professionals. The survey addressed perceived threats, preparedness, and challenges related to cybersecurity.

Survey respondents painted a bleak picture of the cyber-attack threats facing the maritime industry. Around 90% of respondents expect cyber incidents to disrupt ship and fleet operations, while 79% believe there will be theft of property and cargo. Furthermore, 76% expect damage to port infrastructure and cargo handling, and 72% foresee damage to the environment. With customers safety in mind, PartYard is working on an idea to give maximum security to everyone, protecting all their data. Soon, we will be able to share some news about this.

The report highlighted that more than 60% of industry professionals expect ship collisions in the coming years as a result of cyber-attacks, while 68% predict groundings. The survey also revealed that 76% believe a cyber incident is likely to lead to the closure of a strategic waterway.

Svante Einarsson, Head of Marine Cybersecurity at DNV, shared his personal experience and said that the survey results are in line with concerns voiced by customers regarding cyber risks. Einarsson pointed out that digitization of systems and processes is increasing the scale of cyber threats, as systems previously disconnected from the internet are being interconnected.

Einarsson highlighted that onboard control systems, responsible for navigation safety, have significant gaps in terms of cyber security compared to conventional IT systems. He emphasized the importance of securing operational technologies through segregated systems to minimize the impact of a successful cyber attack.

While awareness of cybersecurity is improving, the report warns that the maritime sector is not yet fully prepared to face this threat and that the necessary investments are falling short. Cargo professionals demonstrated a heightened awareness of the importance of cybersecurity investments, possibly due to high-profile attacks on major container lines. However, the report points out that industry professionals in general do not consider that their organizations are investing enough in this area.

The report makes seven recommendations, including considering cybersecurity as an enabler, treating cyber issues as security issues, sharing industry-wide insights, developing a more effective training strategy, maintaining contingency for systems and regulatory overhaul to establish minimum standards for cybersecurity.

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