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Cyber Attacks Will Hurt You

Cyber attacks are the new reality, the only question is ‘when.’ The key challenge for Indian firms is that most view cyber security as an “IT issue”. India ranks third globally as a source of malicious activities and its enterprises are the sixth most targeted by cyber criminals. It is high time that shipping industry should wake up to this reality.

On June 27th, Ukraine came under the biggest cyber attack in its history, which spread to Europe and then to the coast of North and South America and beyond. In the process it affected many industries from banking to power to port sector. Meanwhile, EXIM trade at Nbava Sheva on June 28th woke up to a nasty surprise and this time it bad nothing to with long queues or operational issues there, rather APM Terminals Mumbai was forced to interrupt services as it was dealing with a world-wide unleash of cyber attacks on Maersk and its Group companies including APM Terminals.


Speaking on risk assessment and preventive measures, Kate B. Belmont, Associate (Maritime), Blank Rome LLP, and President, WISTA, New York/New Jersey chapter, said, “One of the most fundamental things that a port, or any company, should do to prevent cyber attacks is conduct a cyber security vulnerability assessment. In addition, port operators, shipping companies and all businesses reliant on information and communication technology (“ICT”) must continue to implement security controls such as protective technology, as well as develop operational procedures that include risk assessments and training, information security procedures, detection processes and response and recovery plans. Human error continues to be a significant factor in breaches, hacks and ransomware attacks and while technical upgrades necessary, developing an effective cyber security culture is critical to managing cyber risk.”

The most vulnerable port systems include, cargo management systems, automated cargo handling systems, autonomous gantry cranes, automatic identification systems (“AIS”) and global positioning systems (“GPS”), Belmont emphasized.

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“Cyber Attacks Will Hurt You,” by Sisir Pradhan was published inthe August 2017 edition of Maritime Gateway.