In the digital age, cybersecurity is an important topic. Well, aside from large IT companies, maritime cyber security has emerged as a developing concern for onshore and offshore activities.
Yes, the rapid coming of digital transformation comes with new threats and regulatory requirements.
Moreover, ship operations need software-based systems. As a result, cybersecurity is an essential area to work on.
Well, it’s a broad topic. So, we will discuss why maritime cybersecurity is a must. Also, the preventive and countermeasures to combat threats.
The Importance Of Cybersecurity
Optimization of operations remains a critical focus. As a result, those who can use new technologies and solutions will be at a great advantage.
- New technology means more automation. As a result, cybersecurity needs to be in place. Moreover, cybersecurity ensures that vessel operations, crews, and passengers are safe.
- Shipping and offshore cyber incidents are increasing.
- There are laws that require owners, operators, and managers to examine cyber risks.
What Cybersecurity Means To Maritime?
It affects the protection of the crew, vessel, cargo, and even ports. Moreover, cybersecurity ensures the safety of:
- IT Systems
- Onboard Hardware
- A data leak from unauthorized access, manipulation, and disruption
Different incidents can be the result of:
- Data transfer problems from the shipping company to the vessel and vice versa, then;
- Problems with onboard equipment and hardware, also;
- Loss of or manipulation of external sensor data, critical for the operation of a ship.
The Need For Cyber Risk Management
The company’s Cyber Risk Management plans and procedures should complement the existing security risk management requirements of the ISM Code and the ISPS Code.
- Define the roles and responsibilities of all persons involved, both ashore and aboard
- Carry out activities to prepare for and respond to cyber incidents.
- Implement technical and procedural measures. Thus, this is to defend against cyber incidents and guarantee business flow.
- Identify systems, assets, data, and capabilities that could pose a threat to the operations and safety of the ship.
Digital communications integrate onshore operations with vessels. Moreover, its use includes conducting business, managing operations, and keeping in touch with the management.
In addition, critical vessel systems are increasingly digitized and are connected to the Internet. As a result, it can perform as:
- Monitoring of engine operation
- Service and management of spare parts
- Loading, handling, crane, pump control, and laying planning
- vessel performance monitoring.
Benefits Of Multi-layer Safeguards
It is important to protect critical systems and data with multiple layers of safeguards.
First, it increases the likelihood of detecting cyber incidents. Then, it increases the effort and resources required to protect data and information.
Of course, it’s great to have firewalls to prevent unwanted intrusions. But, it’s not enough. It needs more than one technical protection.
Here is the thing to consider when making an in-depth defensive approach:
- Appropriate procedures regarding the use of removable media and password policies
- Staff awareness of the risks and familiarity with the relevant procedures
- Network protection, including efficient segmentation
- Intrusion detection
- Access and user controls
- Software whitelist
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