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DNV acquires Applied Risk to create cybersecurity powerhouse

Jalal Bouhdada, CEO of Applied Risk and Liv Hovem, CEO of DNV Accelerator Jalal Bouhdada, CEO of Applied Risk and Liv Hovem, CEO of DNV Accelerator

DNV has announced it will acquire industrial cybersecurity specialist Applied Risk with the goal to build the world’s largest industrial cybersecurity practice, defending critical infrastructure against emergent cyber threats.  

Threats to industrial cybersecurity are becoming more common, complex, and creative. The maritime industry witnessed a 400 per cent increase in attempted attacks between February and June 2020 alone, according to Naval Dome[1]. Recovery from an attack can cost organisations hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Many of the world’s largest shipping companies and other maritime organisations have been subject to serious cybersecurity attacks. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), which encountered an attack itself last year, has placed renewed focus on this issue. In January 2021, it introduced new guidelines stating that a ship’s safety management system should account for cyber risk management in compliance with the ISM Code.

Technology research company Gartner forecasts that cyber criminals will go beyond making attacks for financial gain this decade, and progressively weaponise industrial control systems to cause harm to human life[2].

“Maritime assets are now at higher risk of new forms of cyber-attacks, as their control systems become increasingly connected. Life, property and the environment are at stake. DNV is investing significantly in helping our customers build a powerful force of defence. By joining forces with Applied Risk, we aim to build an industrial cybersecurity powerhouse to support the sector in managing these emerging risks,” said Remi Eriksen, group president and CEO, DNV. 

A combined force of defence 

Established in 2012, Applied Risk is a thought leader in next generation cybersecurity solutions in maritime and other industrial sectors. The company’s team of engineering and cybersecurity professionals headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, have contributed to a wealth of industry standards and led the development of security strategies for national governments. Applied Risk works with a broad client portfolio, including Fortune 500 companies across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

Applied Risk’s experts will join forces with DNV’s cybersecurity specialists, who work with governments, corporations, and industrial operators to keep projects and operations secure. DNV provides real-world cybersecurity expertise to some of the world’s most complex infrastructure projects, helping customers identify their cyber risks, build a powerful force of defence against threats, recover from attacks and win stakeholder trust and support. 

“DNV and Applied Risk share a common vision of safeguarding critical industrial assets from the growing volume and complexity of cyber-attacks. This partnership brings together two highly respected organisations in industrial assurance and cybersecurity solutions. We will combine the strengths of Applied Risk and DNV with significant investments in security research and innovation to build and grow a cutting-edge industrial cybersecurity business that helps our customers outpace new threats posed by cyber criminals,” said Jalal Bouhdada, CEO, Applied Risk.  

Applied Risk and DNV will operate together under the DNV brand. A combined leadership team from both companies will be tasked with scaling a merged cybersecurity business with ambitions for significant growth by the end of 2025.

[1] thedigitalship.com/news/maritime-satellite-communications/item/6615-global-pandemic-sees-400-per-cent-rise-in-cyber-attacks 

[2] www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-07-21-gartner-predicts-by-2025-cyber-attackers-will-have-we

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