Freight News, IT, Sea

New paper promotes port cyber-security

[ June 18, 2020   //   ]

Guernsey-based cyber insurance and risk management specialists Astaara has published a white paper in partnership with the British Ports Association to promote cyber security in ports.

The recent rapidexpansion in remote working and reliance on technology in maritime business continuity throughout the covid-19 crisis has boosted interest in cyber security and resilience in the wake of a fourfold increase in cyber-attacks in the maritime industry since February.

In one high profile attack in May, computer systems at the Shahid Rajaee port in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz were attacked, creating traffic jams of delivery trucks and delays in shipments. It is understood that the attack came in direct response to a failed Iranian cyberattack on an Israeli facility last month.

Whilst attacks from criminal groups are far more common than suspected state-based attacks or ‘hacktivist’ incidents, the overall upward trend is concerning and driving increased interest in security. The global cyber security market is expected to grow from £144 billion to £182 billion by 2021, although that will still be only around 10% of the value lost to cyber-attacks each year.

Astaara chief executive of insurance service and risk management advisory business, Robert Dorey, said: “Now, more than ever, the advantages of digitisation should be capable of being realised, but only if the corresponding management resilience and recovery plans are in place and practiced to ensure those digital control systems and data flows are uninterrupted and uncorrupted. Processes need to be continually reviewed and updated as necessary, training provided, and new approaches to monitoring assessed and adopted.”

He added that marine companies were at increased risk of cyber-attacks, as scammers prey on the coronavirus disruption.

Remote working has been highlighted as a major risk for security, as the attack surface is broadened. Spoofing to misdirect payments long being a favourite of cyber criminals; classically, hackers will plant a virus, enabling them to monitor emails and change the text of a message from suppliers, adding a different bank account.

Managing Ports’ Cyber Risks is available at: