Maritime Cyber Threat Growing, Warn Security Experts
Maritime industry across the world should do more to protect their firms against the increasing cyber-attacks. This was reiterated by experts during the recent event at the opening of maritime innovation centre.
Mr Mark Milford, vice-president in charge of cyber security at Finnish technology firm Wartsila said “An important first step is to create awareness and encourage the reporting of incidents”.
“The fear of reputation damage is the main reason for their reluctance to report,” he said while talking to the media, as the firm marked the official opening of its Acceleration Centre in Singapore. The centre contains a cyber-security offshoot.
Mr. Andrew Fitzmaurice, chief executive of Templar Executives, a British cyber-security firm that Wartsila is working with in Singapore said, “While there are no official records on the number of cyber-security attacks that have hit the maritime sector, the threat is real”.
“Most countries now recognise the maritime sector as part of critical national infrastructure and know that unless they start taking this seriously, they risk having their shipping supply lines and other areas compromised,” he added.
The first for Wartsila outside its home base in Singapore – follows a memorandum of understanding inked with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in April.
The opening of the centre marked the beginning with the aim to promote innovation and collaboration with industry, academia and local partners to strengthen and develop Singapore’s maritime ecosystem.
Among other projects, MPA and Wartsila plan to collaborate in areas of intelligent vessels, smart port operations and digital acceleration with start-ups.
Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, who was the chief guest at the centre’s launch last evening, said the set-up “will support our aim to be the global maritime hub for connectivity, innovation and talent, and add to the vibrancy of our maritime innovation ecosystem”.
He noted that Wartsila and PSA Marine are working together to develop and test an autonomous harbour tug – small boats that guide vessels – as an initiative under the MPA Living Lab.
“Such projects will enable us to develop new concepts and capabilities that support more efficient operation and regulation of our future port,” he said.
Singapore is building a mega port in Tuas that will be twice the size of Ang Mo Kio town when fully developed.
The new port, to be opened progressively from 2021, will be able to handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo a year when fully completed by 2040.
This is about double what the port handled last year.