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Maritime Cyber Risk Evaluation and Management

From the Global Maritime Cybersecurity Consortium, by Max Bobys, HudsonCyber

Across the digital maritime supply chain, organizations confront an escalating, ever increasingly sophisticated range of cyber threats. In today’s era of accelerated digitalization, automation, and inter-connectedness, data breaches can disrupt, damage and/or disable critical systems that can quickly cascade across the maritime supply chain. These risks carry the potential for profound financial repercussions, reputational degradation, and legal entanglements. Fines, costs of response, forensic analysis and investigation, breach notifications, and potential lawsuits all directly affect a company's financial statements. Reputational damage could also corrode customer and investor trust, further eroding future revenue and longer-term profitability.

To adeptly manage cyber risk, it’s necessary for organizations to not only manage it as a Balance Sheet risk, instituting a top-down, holistic governance approach, but to also manage it in the context and language of money. Accomplishing this requires a paradigm shift among maritime leaders in how cyber risk management is approached and ultimately sustained. It demands cross-functional engagement among leadership teams and key stakeholders to ensure operational context, resource applicability, ownership, and accountability. More specifically, cyber risk management extends far beyond the purview of the IT department. It spans the realms of finance, operations, legal, human resources, health and safety, security, and workforce development and training. Engaging these stakeholders ensures a comprehensive approach to managing cyber risk.

To determine reasonable levels of investment in cyber risk management, maritime executives must first understand how a cyber event could impact their organization’s ability to function and the tangible and intangible near and long-term costs of disruption. This involves the development of loss scenarios to determine actual business impact and quantify exposure in financial terms. For commissioners, executives and directors with fiduciary oversight responsibilities, the question of financial and operational cyber risk exposure and materiality is now a regular boardroom agenda item.

Determining ‘how much is enough’ is a central question in cyber risk management regarding investment planning and resource allocation determinations. The answer isn't a one-size-fits-all deal, but by quantifying risks, along with leveraging a common language, it becomes easier to assess and characterize cybersecurity capabilities, to develop and establish risk tolerances, and to decide on appropriate levels of investment.

The ultimate objective of this approach is to furnish organizations with the strategies requisite for the cultivation of cyber-resilient decision-making. Instead of merely reacting to cyber threats, organizations can proactively anticipate and address them. Cyber-resilient decision-making assures that the organization can ensure operational viability in an ever-changing cyber threat landscape.

We invite you to join us for this informative first module of the day that will help you answer the question of “how much is enough” investment and introduce you to key strategies for driving sustainable, holistic, and top-down cyber risk management.

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