Managing Ever-Increasing Cyber-Threats

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  • Cyber-attacks on maritime transport assets rose 400% in 2020.
  • As connectivity builds between partners, each connection point offers cybercriminals another gateway to mission-critical systems and commercially sensitive or private data.
  • To help close some of the gaps in standard policies, CyNav for Ports and Terminals focuses on helping to transfer the risks of nominated business interruptions to provide a wider cover.

WTW has announced CyNav for Ports and Terminals, a cyber solution designed to assist owners and operators in this strategically important sector of the global marine supply chain in addressing the rising cyber dangers as reported by Seatrade Maritime.

Specific risks

The release of CyNav for Ports and Terminals is a direct response to growing calls from operators for a bespoke product that addresses the specific risks faced by their high-value asset class and closes the gaps found in the standard cyber policies of today’s insurance market.

Due to the outsized role its practitioners play in supporting the global economy, the maritime logistics sector is increasingly a target for extortion, hacktivists and state-sponsored networks of cybercriminals.

Cyber-attacks on maritime transport assets rose 400% in 2020.

Third-party service providers are now routinely connecting to port systems to support and monitor the performance of their products.

While this has provided unprecedented levels of operational transparency and efficiency throughout the ports’ value chains, it has also significantly raised the risk of network intrusions.

Inadequately protected systems

As connectivity builds between partners, each connection point offers cybercriminals another gateway to mission-critical systems and commercially sensitive or private data.

Theft of the latter potentially opens the operators of inadequately protected systems to signifi­cant fines under legislation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation; a failure to adequately protect personal data could see a company anywhere in the world fined up to the equivalent of 4% of its global revenue, provided the data breached was the property of EU citizens.

A specific area of vulnerability for port operators – and a new focus of activity from cybercriminals – is the connections to the operational technologies that control activities such as vessel berthing, port traffic, cargo handling and ancillary equipment such as gantry and ship-to-shore cranes.

Awareness campaigns about the vulnerability of transport-related IT access points have helped to strengthen those systems.

For example, there has been some progress in securing maritime IT systems from third-party intrusion.

Typical cyber policies

However, according to digital security experts, the port sector’s operational technology is less adequately protected, as attacks through those systems can still allow access to IT systems and are less likely to be covered by typical cyber policies.

CyNav for Ports and Terminals focuses on assisting to transfer the risks of nominated business interruptions to give larger protection to help close some of the gaps in typical policies.

It was designed to be customised and to address risks specific to the operators of ports and terminals, including:

  • Losses from business interruptions
  • Business interruption losses from vulnerabilities in the IT supply chain
  • Property damages
  • Crisis management expenses
  • Property damage liability
  • Wrongful delivery of cargo
  • Regulatory actions (where insurable)

CyNav for Ports and Terminals was released around a year after WTW released the award-winning CyNav for Shipowners. Both were designed in response to requests from the marine industry for more comprehensive and customised coverage against the growing cyber threat.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime

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