A report from the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) highlights the fact that security is not taken as seriously as it should be in the maritime sector.
The figures show that 52% of the goods traffic in 2010 was made by sea, which means that this sector of the industry is highly important both to society and to global economy.
What many don’t know is that most activities related to water transport rely on state-of-the-art computational and communications systems, which means that they’re just as exposed to hacking operations as nuclear plants and other components of national infrastructures.
This is why ENISA has come forward to propose a set of measures that should be applied worldwide, but primarily in the European Union, based on the high risks that exist due to the potential vulnerabilities that may lie in the current Information Communication and Technology (ICT) systems.
The agency recommends that member states develop and implement awareness raising campaigns that target the maritime sector. It’s their belief that all the actors involved, including shipping companies and port authorities, should offer training to their employees to make them aware that threats exist.
“Security by design for all critical maritime ICT components” is also recommended since the challenges to secure existing systems may be too high for anyone to properly handle.
“As current maritime regulations and policies consider only the physical aspects of security and safety, it is recommended that policy makers add cyber security aspects to them,” reads the report.
The best practice for securing this specific sector would be to align and harmonize international and European policies, especially when it comes to cybersecurity, since the fragmentation of the current maritime context makes it difficult to deploy protection measures.
Information exchange between the stakeholders, statistics on cybersecurity, coordination and cooperation between those involved (port authorities, shipping companies and even CERTs) are also among the advices given by ENISA regarding the maritime sector’s security.