Press digest

2018 October 29

US maritime not prepared for cyber attacks: survey

Almost 80% of large U.S. maritime industry companies surveyed reported that cyberattackers targeted their companies within the past year, according to a new maritime cybersecurity survey.

The inaugural Maritime Cybersecurity Survey from New Orleans-based Jones Walker LLP said that rapidly evolving technologies deployed throughout the U.S. maritime industry to increase efficiencies and competitiveness present significant cybersecurity risks, which the industry is unprepared to shoulder.

38% of all industry respondents reported that cyber attackers targeted their companies within the past year. 10% of survey respondents reported that the data breach was successful, while 28% reported a thwarted attempt.

There is a false sense of preparedness in the U.S. maritime industry, said the survey. 69% of respondents expressed confidence in the maritime industry's overall cybersecurity readiness, yet 64% indicated that their own companies are unprepared to handle the far-reaching business, financial, regulatory, and public relations consequences of a data breach.

Small and mid-size companies are far less prepared than larger companies to respond to a cybersecurity breach. 100% of respondents from large organizations indicated they are prepared to prevent a data breach, while only 6% of small company (1 to 49 employees) respondents and 19% of mid-size company (50 to 400 employees) respondents indicated preparedness.

Small and mid-size companies lack even the most fundamental protections, exposing them to huge potential losses. 92% of small company and 69% of mid-size company respondents confirmed they have no cyber insurance. In contrast, 97% of large company respondents have cyber insurance coverage.

Andrew Lee, Co-Author of the Survey White Paper said: "The U.S. maritime industry is sailing too close to the wind when it comes to cybersecurity. While industry stakeholders are educated and aware of the severe implications of a cyber attack, in many respects they are unprepared for the severe fallout from a major cyber attack."

He added: "Hackers are modern day pirates who have the ability to sink maritime industry sectors that are unprepared for what's coming at them. For many companies – especially smaller and mid-sized companies – there are gaps in implementing fundamental cybersecurity procedures, including crucial training for employees and testing of cybersecurity systems."