Shipping companies are under attack! In the new era of cybersecurity and cyberwarfare, many shipping companies fare poorly when it comes to taking on cyber warriors. Laxity is no excuse. It causes huge financial losses and shipping companies do not know what they are up against. Jaya Prakash files this story from Singapore. By Jaya Prakash
26 | Chief IT
new threat is confronting the globe's shipping industry and it is not piracy anymore. Just when everybody thought that piracy was gone for good, what the world's leading shipowners least anticipated was the danger that could arise from the very Information technology (IT) systems that had kept them connected to their customers and agents. Ignorance is no longer bliss. Shipping companies, port operators, ship managers and shipping agencies better know what the digital age of computer networks, IPhones, IPADS and smartphones have wrought and the havoc they can wreak. Devices purportedly invented to make life better for all of humankind is perhaps, an 'enemy' far more sinister that anything the shipping fraternity have been used to. Not even the Somali pirates who once terrorised commercial shipping have come close to what the double-edged sword in the Internet now threatens and presents. "Digital technology has unleashed some bewildering crime", exclaimed Vincent J Loy, a partner in Financial Crime & Cyber & Data Analytics Leader, in PwC Singapore to MySecurity.com With the globe ever more interconnected than before,
what is now somebody else's problem is no longer the way it was and is. Now it is everybody's concern because what the Internet has now done is to connect us all to criminals, terrorists and stalkers in the far-flung regions of the globe, and the security we once took for granted in our own homes and backyard will now have to be traded for the uncertainty the age of the Internet now brings. As more and more devices and a rising number of companies get online, they become ripe tempting targets for attacks and coercion and maritime companies better know they have a weaknesses hackers can easily exploit with impunity. To be sure hackers have without doubt been rife. Just ask Google of its experiences in China and the answers will come thick and fast. Not only did hackers once compromise the safety of a floating rig by tilting it off the coast of West Africa but, what happened in the Belgian port of Antwerp for it to be reported widely in newspapers with hackers, filching containers takes the whole scheme of hacking and phishing, to an entirely new level and new plane. And if that was not enough, hackers have also assisted Somali pirates choose their targets. They did this by
Published on Nov 2, 2016
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