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Cyber partnership to improve vessel security

(l-r) Tobias Schweinfurter, TÜV Rheinland Japan; Dr Michael Fübi, TÜV Rheinland; and Koichi Fujiwara, ClassNK (l-r) Tobias Schweinfurter, TÜV Rheinland Japan; Dr Michael Fübi, TÜV Rheinland; and Koichi Fujiwara, ClassNK

Classification society ClassNK and TÜV Rheinland, a provider of testing, inspection and certification for a variety of industries, have concluded a worldwide partnership agreement for cybersecurity services that will see the companies work together to create cyber certification for the shipping sector.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}ClassNK and TÜV Rheinland have a previous cooperative relationship, through agreements in 2012 for wind turbine certification and in 2015 for test and product certification. With their most recent partnership agreement both parties have agreed to jointly develop and deliver a cybersecurity certification scheme for the maritime industry.

Under the agreement, ClassNK will first team up with TÜV Rheinland to work on cybersecurity guidelines that target onboard software currently being developed by the class society, and will then look to introduce cybersecurity certification services relating to wider maritime sector issues.

“I am pleased to be able to further strengthen our collaborative relationship with TÜV Rheinland. Digital transformation is changing the way that business is conducted and offering more opportunities, while cybersecurity is an essential factor to its promotion and adoption in the maritime industry,” said ClassNK president and CEO, Koichi Fujiwara.

“Through the new partnership, we will do everything possible to overcome the cybersecurity challenges of the industry by combining TÜV Rheinland’s abundant expertise and our society’s accumulated knowledge and experience on management systems for ship operations, as well as the structure, machinery and other components of ships themselves.”{/mprestriction}

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  • 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)
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    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

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    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.”

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

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    • Coverage will shrink
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    • There will be limited options
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    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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    OneLearn Global and the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim of developing collaboration in the field of education and training, encompassing marine and offshore technology, marine robotics and maritime digitalisation.

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