iContainers: Industry Unprepared for Cyber Attacks

Illustration; Image Courtesy: DNV GL

The ocean freight and freight forwarding industries are ‘ill-prepared’ for cyber attacks, online freight forwarding company iContainers has warned.

In the wake of last week’s ransomware virus attack on Maersk, iContainers reported being left temporarily limited in terms of taking bookings and managing operations related to merchandise on the Danish shipping giant’s vessels. Two days after the attack, as Maersk struggled to regain some form of normalcy, freight forwarders continued to work on getting releases for import containers.

The Petya virus not only crippled Maersk’s booking system and slowed down its tracking of containers, it also caused congestion at nearly 80 ports around the world operated by its subsidiary, APM Terminals, the freight forwarder said. The carrier was only able to resume accepting bookings nearly three days after the attack, and had to be done through a third party provider.

“Considering the importance and value of what the industry does, it is ill-prepared for an attack such as this. One would have thought that Maersk was perhaps the carrier with the highest level of protection,” says Klaus Lysdal, Vice President of Sales and Operations of iContainers.

More attacks expected

Experts have warned to expect more hits over the next six months as affected organizations try to dig at the root of the problem. According to global advisory firm AlixPartner, most of these attacks originate from an ‘initial email’.

“All we can really do is protect our systems. Between the carriers, rails, and terminals, there really isn’t much that can be done from a third party,” adds Lysdal.

Researchers say the organizations that were hit tend to be those in industries with fewer investments into cyber security. While the ocean freight industry has been relatively slow in adopting much-needed security measures to fend off attacks such as these, recent maritime conferences have put much emphasis on cyber security.

According to iContainers, this attack should serve as a warning of the increasing vulnerabilities of the industry as it shifts towards automation and digitalization.

“For the industry as a whole, this attack probably comes as a healthy reminder. With global coverage and more and more features being made available online, carriers are facing increasing exposure to such attacks,” explains Lysdal.

“After years of low earnings and huge losses, some may not have been as diligent on their security as they perhaps should have been. Maersk stands to lose a substantial amount of money from this current attack, which hopefully will spur every carrier to intensify their security measures.”

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Dec 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology

Over the past few years, maritime intelligence gathering and ISR capabilities have returned to the forefront of the defence industry…

read more >

BWMTech

Clarify regulations. Plan BWMS integration. Prevent operational failure…

read more >

Mega Cargo Show 2018

The focus of the event is to bring all connected with cargo fraternity on a single platform…

read more >

Vietship 2018

Vietship is the largest and longest established exhibition in Vietnam featuring all aspect of Shipbuilding, Shipping and Offshore Technology.

Since its first event in 2002, Vietship has become the convergence and platform of advanced technologies regional and worldwide in shipbuilding and ship repair, marine equipment, waterway transportation and services, marine and offshore engineering.

After 16 years of eight consecutive editions, Vietship has affirm itself as an important event in enhancing cooperation and development, attracting investments, exchanging technology and creating ideal opportunities for trade promotion in the international maritime industry.

More info

read more >