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Cyber Security in the Maritime and Offshore Sector

While headlines often talk about criminals stealing user data and other information from social media websites, retail institutions, and other onshore businesses, it is important for maritime operators to be aware of the increasingly complex cyber security environment industries of all kinds inhabit.

According to Svante Einarsson, cyber security team leader for DNV-GL, the need for increased attention to cyber security issues in the maritime sector will continue to grow in importance.
“Cyber security has become a concern,” he said in an article on the issue. “And it should be considered as an integral part of the overall safety management in shipping and offshore operations.”

Zenitel has done much to strengthen its own cyber security initiatives through partnerships with organizations such as the Center for Internet Security. In fact, Zenitel has a variety of information regarding the topic that can be found here.

Maritime Cyber Security Risk

According to Symantec Security Response, “You don’t need as many technical skills to find one person who might be willing, in a moment of weakness, to open up an attachment that contains malicious content.” 97% of attacks actually consist of trying to trick a user using social engineering techniques. Therefore it is important that maritime vessels and offshore installations take precautions to protect themselves, their crew and their cargo from cyber threats.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has encouraged administrations to ensure that cyber risks are addressed in all safety management systems by January 2021. OCIMF (Oil Companies International Forum) have already implemented cyber security in their vetting program. The IMO has a number of resources related to cyber security that can be found via its website.

”Zenitel was the first IP Intercom vendor to implement IEEE 802.1X network access control, and we have kept IP security at the forefront for more than 10 years.”
Thomas Hægh, Chief Technology Officer, Zenitel.

Given the rapid pace of technological advancement, it is difficult to say precisely what the cyber security landscape for maritime and other industries will look like in the years to come. But it is certain that having a solid cyber security plan will become ever more integral in protecting assets of all kinds on and offshore. And the more familiar maritime operators become with trends now, the easier it will be to deal with potential threats in the future.

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