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Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence opens in Singapore

Wärtsilä has opened a new International Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence (IMCCE) in Singapore, consisting of a Maritime Cyber Emergency Response Team (MCERT) and a cyber academy, created in conjunction with its new cyber security strategic partner, Templar Executives.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The MCERT is a cyber intelligence and incident support platform which aims to provide international intelligence feeds, advice and support, including real-time assistance to members on cyber-attacks and incidents, alongside a Cyber Security Reporting Portal (CSRP).

The MCERT is based on a membership model, and offers an Advisory Board membership for those who want to lead the cyber agenda in the industry. The Advisory Board will comprise of key stakeholders from the maritime ecosystem in the areas of shipping, oil & gas, ports and cruise ships.

The Cyber Academy’s courses will cover a range of relevant topics, from cyber security coaching for senior management to cyber awareness for all organisational levels within the maritime industry.

The MCERT will operate from the newly launched Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre facilities in Singapore, which have been purpose-built to promote innovation and collaboration with industry, academia, and local partners in driving development of Singapore’s maritime ecosystem.

The opening of the Centre follows on from an agreement signed between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Wärtsilä in April 2018 to collaborate in areas of intelligent vessels, connected smart port operations, cyber-physical security, and digital acceleration with start-ups.

The first project to be co-created at the Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre is the Wärtsilä IntelliTug,  which aims to develop a harbour tug with autonomous navigation capabilities in cooperation with MPA and PSA Marine.

The vessel will be capable of performing a range of routine missions designed to improve tug safety and efficiencies, while reducing operator workload and pressure in one of the world’s most demanding harbour environments, the partners said.

The IntelliTug project will involve a combination of technologies, including a new-to-market near-field wideband radar and real-time video analytics, integrated with a lightweight human-centric mission control system to supervise close quarters operations and alert users on collision avoidance using adaptive dynamic route planning capabilities.

Wärtsilä will test-bed the IntelliTug concept in 2019, together with MPA and PSA Marine, on an existing tugboat in Singapore’s actual operational port. 

“In contrast to many existing conceptual ideas in the industry, with IntelliTug we are creating a technology that will find a real application in the commercial maritime market. We want to help the industry improve by leveraging the use of automation technologies on ships to boost safety and efficiency, while at the same time augmenting the human’s role within the loop,” said Marco Ryan, chief digital officer and executive vice president, Wärtsilä Corporation.

“This solution will empower tug masters by actively assisting the crew in different situations, allowing them to focus on critical tug operations whilst dynamically maintaining safe distances during navigation and preventing potential collisions. It will also give them additional decision-making support and the ability to work with their colleagues ashore via real time data connection.”{/mprestriction}

Related items

  • Changes to cybersecurity insurance

    In recent years there has been a marked increase in cyber-criminal activity. Put simply, as technology advances, so too do the skills of those seeking to exploit it. The growth of IoT provides ‘bad actors’ with more devices and connections to target, allowing them to become more sophisticated. These developments have contributed towards a huge uptake in cyber insurance in recent years. Now though, victims of ransomware attacks have begun to pay. Attacks and breaches now dominate the IT security news headlines. It stands to reason then that insurers must act, so here we look at changes to cybersecurity insurance in the wake of this rise in cyber-crime.

    Top Tip: Check your cybersecurity insurance policy today

    We would recommend a call to your broker, as the previous terms are almost certainly going to be different. Ask about new services too, and of course ensure that you have robust cybersecurity practices in place. This will be subject to higher levels of scrutiny moving forwards, and rightly so. 

    The cybersecurity insurance industry gathers momentum

    In line with the acceleration in cyber-crime, cyber insurance has experienced a fertile period. More policies than ever before have been issued, and the amounts of protection available have increased. In 2020, according to sources at Harvard Business Review, the first $1 billion cyber insurance programmes were launched. This is not difficult to imagine when you see the results of recent cybersecurity-related surveys. For example, the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021 revealed a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in 2019 for cyber losses. It also revealed that businesses were devoting more resources to cybersecurity than ever. Further key findings are as follows:

    • 2020 saw more companies targeted by criminals than in the previous year
    • Of those suffering attacks in 2020, more than a quarter (28 per cent) were targeted over 5 times
    • The companies who took part revealed that they allocated 21 per cent of their IT budget to cybersecurity (this was up 63 per cent when compared to the previous year’s survey)
    • 59 per cent of businesses with 250+ employees felt more vulnerable to cyber-attacks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Coronavirus has certainly had a huge impact on most, if not all sectors. Organisations the world over have lost vast sums of income, with many succumbing to their losses. It has subsequently made some view cyber insurance as a luxury. Yet there is another, far more critical issue to cybersecurity insurance that is ‘changing the playing field’.

    Ransomware and the cybersecurity insurance landscape

    Ransomware is perhaps the foremost cybersecurity threat. According to CRIBB Cyber Security’s Patrick Carolan, “it (ransomware) has achieved a lot of success in recent years. Ransoms were set at relatively low amounts and were largely ignored. Nowadays, I believe that the average is over $100,000. They are often paid now too, which means that insurance companies must adopt a more robust approach.”

    During the period of growth, many cyber insurers retained 60 per cent on every dollar paid in premiums. Security frameworks, policies and procedures of clients were often not thoroughly examined. Their level of cybersecurity awareness was largely overlooked. Carolan foresees a huge change in this:

    “A lot of the people in cybersecurity insurance are leaving that area of the industry. Some are point-blank refusing to insure for ransomware. The ones that remain are therefore charging a lot more and insuring for less. They are also asking for a much higher level of proof of strong cybersecurity controls before issuing any policies.”

    The future of cybersecurity insurance

    It is difficult to predict exactly what lies in store for those seeking cybersecurity insurance. However, it does seem likely that:

    • Premiums will be far higher
    • Coverage will shrink
    • There will be fewer outs
    • There will be limited options
    • Stronger requirements will be enforced

    Carolan points out the ransomware attempts at cyber insurance companies as being key. “Cyber-criminals can uncover how much ransom they could demand from potential targets. They can find this information directly or through the cybersecurity insurance companies they use. It is vital then to protect cybersecurity policies. I would say you should remove them altogether from areas where they could be found.”

    There have been cases where insurance companies have stated they will not pay any ransoms. Subsequently, they have been the victims of attacks. It is clear then that the industry is in a vulnerable position right now.

    Top Tip #2: Conduct vulnerability scans before opting for insurance

    As stated previously, requirements for insurance are (understandably) becoming more stringent. Some companies are even implementing external vulnerability scans themselves. It makes sense then to carry out a scan beforehand, and CRIBB can help.

     This article has been republished with permission from CRIBB Cyber Security. Read the original article here.

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    Seably has launched a dedicated and comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training course for the maritime sector in collaboration with marine insurance providers Alandia and maritime cybersecurity specialists Deductive Labs.

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    Fischer Panda UK’s electric drive system and generators will power the world’s first fully automated vessel, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), when it sets sail on its historic maiden voyage across the Atlantic this June.

  • University of Plymouth recognised for work on maritime cybersecurity

    The University of Plymouth has been recognised for its work in developing software to protect the maritime industry against cybercrime. 

  • Wärtsilä and Tanger Med co-develop Port Management Information System

    Mediterranean and African container port, Tanger Med, has partnered with Wärtsilä to co-develop a new cutting-edge Port Management Information System (PMIS).

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