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Icon representing US Coast Guard Bulletin: Cyber Adversaries Targeting Commercial Vessels
US Coast Guard Bulletin: Cyber Adversaries Targeting Commercial Vessels

June 21st 2019
Icon representing Would you pay $1m for a laptop full of malware?
Would you pay $1m for a laptop full of malware?

May 23rd 2019
Icon representing Singapore Opens Maritime Cybersecurity Operations Centre (MSOC)
Singapore Opens Maritime Cybersecurity Operations Centre (MSOC)

May 22nd 2019

Survey points to industry-wide lack of cyber security training

October 23rd 2017
More than two-thirds of crew across the shipping industry may not have received any cyber security training from their employers, according to the results of an online survey.

More than 84% of respondents said they had limited or no training in cyber security despite well over half of respondents acknowledging that they had a degree of responsibility for maintaining the security of IT systems on board the vessels where they work.

The survey was conducted on Twitter and responses came from 571 accounts linked to individuals who identified themselves as crew members on seagoing vessels. Click on the image below to view the full results. 

Satellite communications provider NSSLGlobal, who conducted the survey, said the results made it clear that maritime employers were not doing enough to educate crew about the risks of cyber attacks or how to avoid them.

ndividuals are prime targets for those intent on initiating cyber attacks, according to NSSL Global, a view shared by a group of experts who presented at September’s London International Shipping Week conference in September. 

The panel of speakers at the jointly-held International Maritime Contractors Association and Oil Companies International Marine Forum Cyber Security Seminar 2017 said the so-called “carbon-based threat” is the biggest the shipping industry faces.

Weak passwords, the reuse of passwords and lack of segmentation of administrator rights all represent types of poor cyber hygiene on the part of individual crew members according to Commander Mike Hawthorne, who captained a nuclear submarine before commanding the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) joint forces cyber group. The consequences of these bad habits, he said, are that they increase ease of access for cyber criminals wishing to break into vessel control systems.

Technip FMC senior manager Ian Hindmarsh said crew members represent both a strength and a vulnerability and require constant training. Shipowners, he said, need to become more intelligent customers, security needs to be built into the supply chain, and a cultural change is required across the industry.