New video raises awareness of cybercrime

Jul 14 2017

Maritime cyber security awareness campaign, Be Cyber Aware at Sea, has collaborated with Fidra Films to launch a new film, which highlight the increasing importance of cyber security across the maritime industry.

Satcoms provider NSSLGlobal co-funded the film in partnership with OCIMF, The Standard Club and Teekay Shipping.

Designed not only for seafarers but also across the maritime industry, the freely-available film uses real-life case studies to highlight how easy it is for cyber criminals to target individual employees, who are often the weakest link in the security chain.

Around 99% of cyber-attacks target people rather than IT infrastructure. 

The film’s content has been deliberately created to be both educational and entertaining and easily shared via social media to help the message spread wider throughout the industry.

It features multiple tips to help employees avoid being an easy target for cyber criminals.

Many people still fail to spot the signs of simple phishing emails and accidentally give away personal and company information to hackers via email or social media postings. Even something as simple as charging a smartphone to the USB socket on the ECDIS terminal could allow hackers to gain access to a vessels IT network, potentially affecting the vessel’s ability to safely navigate.

Sally-Anne Ray, NSSLGlobal CEO, commented: “The launch of this film is extremely timely. It follows the recent reports of the global Petya ransomware cyber-attack, which hit global shipping giant Maersk, to cause one of the biggest ever disruptions to global shipping. No-one is immune from the cyber threat and this film is an important initiative to not only raise awareness of the risks, but to help protect the industry from attack.”

Chris Young, executive producer at Fidra Films, said: “It is great to see the maritime industry coming together to tackle cyber security.  All the feedback so far has been very positive and it is our hope that the film reaches as wide an audience as possible.”

Andrew Cassels, OCIMF director, remarked: “This film starts to tackle the most vulnerable element of cyber protection, the human element. Educating our mariners is the first line of defence; they all work in social media with ease but need to understand how innocent actions can cause harm to wider networks and systems. Wide distribution of this film and the supporting material will start to prepare industry for the cyber challenges ahead.”

Carmen Plesch, Director IT, Teekay Shipping, added: “The film is fast paced and packed with practical information. By shooting it in the environment our seafarers work and live for weeks at a time, the film resonates deeply with this audience and it emphasises the critical role everybody – ship and shore – has to play in protecting our informational assets and keep all of us safe.”

Capt Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at The Standard Club, commented: “We are proud to have worked together with Fidra Films and the other partners on the production of this cyber awareness video. Given the potential catastrophic consequences, we cannot stress enough the importance for shipowners and operators to take adequate measures to prevent cyber-attacks. We trust this video will be well received by the industry and will aid in raising awareness amongst seafarers and shore staff alike.”

Comsat has announced a suite of cybersecurity solutions for the maritime industry.

The company said that it provides enhanced security for data transmissions, to and from a ship, anywhere in the world, by working to detect, prevent and respond to breaches in security. It identifies patterns or anomalies that indicate data may have been compromised, and it constantly monitors and reports potentially malicious activity.

The heart of the company’s private network is its data centre in Melbourne, Florida, with other locations in Amsterdam, New York and Hawaii. In addition, secure teleports in Southbury, Connecticut, and Santa Paula, California, act as extensions of the Melbourne data centre.

COMSAT’s network architecture incorporates multiple points of presence (POP) and interconnectivity with satcoms providers, securely making the transition from satellite to terrestrial networks. Furthermore, it offers the ability to connect ship-borne data transmissions directly to customers’ corporate networks – without touching the internet.

David Greenhill, COMSAT President, said, “The new IMO cyber security mandate represents a bold new day in the maritime industry, reflecting the industry’s rising concern about the vulnerability of fleet-borne communications. COMSAT offers the services required to comply with the new IMO cyber security mandate, right now.”  

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