How Important Are Cybersecurity Regulations for the Marine Sector?

Divers underneath the sea

The marine industry’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks can be resolved by bolstering regulatory frameworks for the sector, aside from using research and development tools like a GPS or an INS simulator for testing signals from satellite-dependent resources.

While there are many regulations for the industry, one way to start involves an update for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Interim Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management.

Regulatory Compliance

The IMO’s guidelines align with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework, which aids companies in identifying potential cybersecurity threats.

If you’re still unfamiliar with these guidelines, it’s better to start reviewing them now before you fall victim to a costly cyber-attack. In June 2017, hackers were able to infiltrate an A.P. Moller-Maersk subsidiary’s shipping operations.

The scope of damages from such an attack can be not only dangerous for property and human lives but also involve legal accountabilities. Hence, it’s important to make sure that GPS-reliant and other digital technology systems have been tested efficiently from the development phase.

Easy Target

A Pen Test Partners report showed that it is relatively easy to hack into a vessel’s navigation system, which stems from the fact that marine cybersecurity has been in the infancy stage, according to Pen Test Partners researcher Ken Munro.

The report also noted that some solutions could be as simple as observing stringent protocols on administrative log-in information.

A common username and weak password are almost the same as letting a stranger aboard the ship. Take note that most hackers will need a ship’s security credentials before they can launch an attack.

Public and private stakeholders can no longer ignore the importance of significant investments in marine cybersecurity, especially now that attacks become more complex with each passing day. How do you protect your shipping operations against possible threats?