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Virus-hit boxship takes centre stage at Singapore cyber wargame

A container ship whose power management system had been shut down by a long dormant virus was the focus of a UK maritime industry cyber wargame hosted during Singapore Maritime Week held in April.

With sensors in containers alerting to issues with storage temperatures on board, a truly uncomfortable situation for the owner, manager, charterer and cargo owners, more than 40 delegates were invited to discuss this cyber security scenario and work out solutions for immediate action as well as longer-term plans to mitigate such a security breach.

The Singapore event, which followed on from a successful Athens cyber war game last month, was facilitated by the Society of Maritime Industries and the UK’s Department for International Trade. The companies taking part in the event were Nettitude, NCC Group, CyberOwl and Inmarsat.

Tim Percival VP of Cyber, Asia Pacific of Nettitude said: “Great to meet so many maritime organisations taking part in the Cyber War Game event as part of Sea Asia 2019. A great opportunity to understand how a cyber-attack could impact a business reliant on continual operational activity.”

Daniel Ng, CEO of CyberOwl said “Singapore is positioning itself as a global leader in maritime technology. The Maritime Transformation R&D Roadmap 2030 makes it clear that digitalisation, autonomy and therefore, cyber-physical security will be at the forefront of Singapore maritime strategy. This is where the technological leadership of companies like CyberOwl come into their own to deliver cyber resilience for vessel and ship-to-shore systems. Working with the SMI during Sea Asia and Singapore Maritime Week ensures the challenges that key regional stakeholders are facing in managing this increasingly important business risk are well understood.”

Wayne Perks, Manager of Security Services at Inmarsat said: “The cyber war-games have been an excellent demonstration of how various cyber threats are posing an ever increasing risk that can directly impact every aspect of the maritime industry. The diverse views of the attendees, on how to handle a cyber incident go to show there is no single or simple way to find the best solution. A collaboration between the representing British companies, Department for International Trade (DIT) and the maritime industry is a realistic and optimum solution to further develop the industries approach.”

John Murray, Chief Executive of the Society of Maritime Industries, host for the evening said “Cyber security issues are rising up the priority list for maritime companies. To be able to share ideas and hear input from experts on a scenario is a very valuable exercise. We look forward to hosting the next event in this valuable format.”

The welcome address was provided by the Department for International Trade’s HM Trade Commissioner Natalie Black “I was delighted to attend the Preparing for the Maritime Cybersecurity Challenge, where the Department for International Trade helped to bring together important stakeholders from Singapore and the UK to discuss ways to strengthen our partnership on cyber security in the maritime sector. The use of “war games” to simulate threat scenarios was particularly helpful for identifying key areas for further collaboration between our countries.”

The UK cyber industry remains at the forefront of this developing industry which underpins world trade, with more than 90% of cargo being delivered by ship.
Source: Society of Maritime Industries

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