Cybersecurity plays a big role in the maritime industry and provides many solutions, especially with the evolution of technology. Let’s take a look at what the maritime industry is and its history. This industry includes not only the production of ships, offshore platforms and other marine equipment, but a wide range of economic activities that produce goods and services related to the sea.
The maritime sector is arguably the oldest industry in the world, with the transport of goods by sea having existed for millennia. The first evidence of a ship dates back to the end of the 5th millennium BC and is that of a sailing ship. We have noticed that maritime technology, although the first traces of the use of boats date back to ancient Egypt, has only evolved in the last 150 years. The only evolution has been in the size, shape of the sails and number of rowers in order to move from sailing on rivers to sailing in the sea.
The technology in the maritime Industry
Technology is present in all sectors of human life. It is very important in the maritime sector. Technology allows for increased autonomy, or intelligent, autonomous ships. These intelligent ships are equipped with improvements such as advanced materials, sensors, propulsion, robotics, big data. These improvements allow companies and engineers in the maritime sector to improve their workforce.
The exponential evolution of technology allows the maritime sector to be safer for the environment while determining the escalation of the global market. However, new challenges are emerging in the area of cyber security.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly prevalent especially with the evolution of technology and the increased reliance on computer systems, the Internet and wireless networking standards such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as the growth of “smart” devices, including smartphones, televisions and the various devices that make up the Internet of Things.
Cyber security is the practice of protecting computer systems and networks against the disclosure of information, theft or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data, as well as the disruption or misuse of the services they provide.
These cyber-attacks typically aim to access sensitive information. The most sought-after of these are customers’ personally identifiable information (PII, which includes names, addresses, national identification numbers) and credit card information. Hackers either harvest this information to sell it on underground digital markets or destroy it to disrupt normal business processes. Compromised PII often leads to loss of customer confidence, regulatory fines, and even legal action.
In today’s maritime industry, the task is very difficult. It is extremely difficult to develop and apply cyber security at the right time and in the right way, especially as there are more devices than people and the attackers are becoming more and more innovative. Whether it is in the yachting area with the information of all the customers of the cruise companies. Or in the commercial area with the diversion of goods.
Cybersecurity solutions for the maritime industry
However, if we consider the consequences of a cyber-attack, they are considerable. Cybersecurity is not an IT problem. Cybersecurity is not just about our data, especially for ships and ports, cybersecurity has an important physical aspect. If a maritime company suffers a cyber intrusion, you will have physical consequences: a ship may run aground or crash. It’s not just about data loss. In addition, they can change the route and then direct the ship to a place where it can be salvaged.
For this problem let’s take the example of a Greek shipping company that suffered a hacker attack. The hackers accessed the shipping company’s system. The company had installed wi-fi connections in their premises in order to be as connected as possible. This was detrimental to them. Unfortunately, the hackers were able to access the shipping company’s cargo management system. Hackers are primarily concerned with identifying vulnerable targets in order to recover the goods.
If you want to read more about this kind of cyber-attack, here is an interesting article.
Cyber security is extremely important in the maritime industry. Whether it is an entertainment company or a commercial enterprise, customer data is extremely important. Hackers can use this information to sell it. It is important to remember that an attack does not necessarily target data, but can damage a vessel. In this case the damage is material but can also cause death.
If you were interested in this article, here is one of our articles entitled CRIBB Maritime Cyber Assurance.