The U.S Government released on January 5, 2021, a cybersecurity plan to secure the nation’s maritime sector against cybersecurity threats that could endanger national security.
The Maritime Cyber Environment
With International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) mandate “to ensure that cyber risks are appropriately addressed in existing safety management systems” and the increasing number of cyber-attacks against maritime and shipping organizations, cybersecurity of maritime and shipping organizations is a top priority. In fact, cyber-attacks on the maritime industry’s operational technology (OT) systems are reported to have increased by 900% over the last three years.
The maritime and shipping sector plays a vital role in national and global economy; 90% of global trade is being carried by shipping, while in the U.S. it contributes about $5.4 trillion to the national gross domestic product. Hence, cyber-attacks against critical national infrastructure such as the maritime industry can have crippling effects on the national economy.