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Collaboration Strengthens Maritime Security Posture

Submitted by Cyware

The maritime industry has played a pivotal role in driving global commerce since the beginning of recorded history. The maritime industry, one of the key enablers of world trade, can have significant impacts on global economies as illustrated when the Evergreen vessel got stranded in the middle of the Suez Canal for almost a week. In the 21st century, threats and impacts to the continued operation of the maritime industry can have far-reaching consequences.

Maritime industry navigates troubled waters

The maritime industry is composed of many stakeholders, such as ship owners and operators, ports and connecting terminals, ferries/cruise operators, marine services firms, and support services providers, with varied business interests and operational challenges. With so many targets, cyber risks and potential impacts on the maritime industry are increasingly concerning.

In the past, the maritime industry was considered relatively safe due to the lack of internet connectivity and the isolated nature of ships at sea. All that has changed today with the emergence of numerous connected technologies and systems used onboard ships and at ports to manage daily operations.

Major maritime shipping companies have seen their share of cyberattacks, with some leading to weeks of downtime. In a similar vein, researchers have attributed numerous incidents of ship collisions to cyberattacks on navigation systems. Sea pirates looking to steal sensitive information on containers and ship routes also target shipping firms’ shore-based systems. The Port of Los Angeles even reported a doubling of cyberattack attempts on its network since the pandemic.

Stem the tide through collaboration

As the digitalization of ports and ships gathers pace and the surge in third-party and supply-chain attacks continues, it is time to reevaluate the cybersecurity posture of the entire maritime industry. Ports and shipping entities run their own internal security operations without the benefit of industry collaboration that would enhance threat response timeliness and efficacy. Connecting company-specific security teams to a larger, cohesive, and collaborative cyber threat intelligence sharing system would lead to a coordinated threat response that leverages the collective capability of member organizations. It may also illuminate a path to automation to yield instant response and introduce more efficient analysis of advanced attack strategies.

Real-time, bi-directional cyber threat intelligence sharing of indicators of compromise (IOCs), information on malware, vulnerabilities, threat actors, and attack campaigns as well as corresponding detection and mitigation measures deliver a proactive capability across the connected ecosystem that results in significantly enhanced defensive capability posture and more cyber resilience for all stakeholders.

Key takeaway

Laying the foundation for an automated collective defense ecosystem empowers security teams with real-time threat intelligence sharing and security collaboration capabilities. Through this, organizations are able to better understand adversary behavior, fill security gaps in their technology infrastructure, and deploy effective security strategies. Collaboration is the key foundation of a secure and resilient maritime cybersecurity ecosystem of the future.

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