TT Club: cyber activity must be addressed
Specialist port insurer TT Club has warned of the daily operational risk posed by cyber 'activity', urging ports to shut down third party back doors into their systems.
Andrew Huxley, development director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the transport and logistics insurance and risk management services firm, warned that many in the marine supply chain business have operations that rely upon “multiple third-party suppliers” and have “widespread office networks”.
Speaking at the 6th MED Ports 2018 Exhibition and Conference, he said: "Often, information technology systems are of an in-house, legacy nature, which may be poorly protected by security software."
According to Mr Huxley, a BIMCO survey from 2016 suggested that over a fifth of respondents confessed to cyberattacks, while in 2017, a SeaIntel Maritime Analysis report estimated that 44% of the top 50 container carriers had weak or inadequate cybersecurity policies and processes.
During his presentation, Mr Huxley highlighted a paper that TT Club, UK P&I Club and security risk management firm NYA recently published — Risk Focus: Cyber: Considering threats in the maritime supply chain.
“By publishing Risk Focus: Cyber, we hope to generate more awareness of the risks to help combat the situation,” he said.
“Ultimately, the main threat continues to derive from human error — downloading malicious content, opening an unsecured web browser or falling victim to social engineering attacks and phishing scams.”
According to TT Club, ports and terminals are exposed to threats due to being “at the confluence of physical and communications activity”.
The company said that data interfaces are complicated and that the drive towards efficient processes and interconnected control systems aggravates the chances for malicious interference from outside.
“Most of all, at the ship/port interface, there is much opportunity to cause loss and damage, far beyond the persistent exposure to criminal activity,” TT Club said.
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