Maritime Cybersecurity: Prepare, Detect and Respond

Marine News

At a time when the world has become more aware than ever before about the vital importance of the world’s ocean shipping fleet, which carried supplies, merchandise and much needed personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increased risk from a different threat, cyberattacks, presents a set of new challenges.

According to Israeli cybersecurity specialist Naval Dome, since February 2020, there has been a 400% increase in attempted hacks on the maritime realm, coinciding with a period when the maritime industry turned to greater use of technology and working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Increased phishing attempts, malware and ransomware attacks can be attributed to the changes in operations and procedures during the travel restrictions and operational hurdles encountered during the pandemic. These global challenges resulted in a move by the U.S. to bolster the federal government’s cybersecurity practices and contractually obligate private sector to align with such enhanced security practices. For instance, the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which controls nearly half the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel flowing along the East Coast, prompted President Biden to sign Executive Order (EO) on “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity (14028)” on May 12, 2021. A comprehensive overview of President Biden’s EO can be found here. On August 25, 2021, the President also held a cybersecurity summit with leading tech company and Wall Street banking executives to discuss cybersecurity concerns.

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“Maritime Cybersecurity: Prepare, Detect and Respond,” by Vanessa C. DiDomenico was published in the November 2021 edition of Marine News.