In today’s riskier, more connected environment, maritime sector leaders must collaborate closely with external partners to reduce vulnerabilities to cyber attackers. Third parties must be made to comply, technically and in contract-driven risk-mitigation elements, with security that supports the enterprise’s purposes. To ensure cooperation while providing sufficient protection for all sides, enterprises must, therefore, bring third parties into the inner circle of their security perimeters.
The maritime sector must assess and manage risks, enhance preparedness and adopt hybrid solutions that are flexible and agile, and arrive at balanced trade-offs, such as between nearshoring and reshoring and combining hybrid supply chain models, along with other measures to reduce vulnerabilities to cyberattacks. identified that the long-term outlook of the sector will be shaped by a range of continuing structural trends, including changing patterns of globalization, the drive for more-resilient supply chains, changes in consumer spending and the growth of ecommerce, the need for environmental sustainability, the global energy transition, and the continuing uptake of digitalization, organizations must focus on mainstreaming supply chain resilience, and risk quantification based on potential threat profiling. Preparedness can also be achieved by allowing for redundancy across suppliers, nearshoring, regionalizing their supply chains, dual-sourcing raw materials, backing up production sites, increasing inventory of critical products, strengthening supply-chain risk management, improving end-to-end transparency, and minimizing exposure to cybersecurity and other shocks.
Maintaining effective cybersecurity is not easy. It requires collaborative, top-down approaches that engage senior management, combined with bottom-up approaches working with other suppliers to identify vulnerabilities and risks unique to each operational environment, while balancing and managing such risks within acceptable limits. Implementing cybersecurity helps to protect shipping assets and technology from cyber threats and makes economic sense since cyber-attacks can cause damage, loss, or misappropriation of cargo, with implications for liability in the context of contracts for the carriage of goods by sea.
Cybersecurity providers must have the ability to offer their customers real-time technology and services that speak to the business, not only the CISO, which is crucial. They also need to demonstrate the right value and key performance indicators to measure outcomes for decision making (prescriptive analysis). To have a true security proposition, there are at least three dimensions that the cybersecurity provider community should consider:
- Business value – Do the organization’s security offerings reflect the priorities or risk of its customers’ & partners’ businesses today? When those risk priorities change, can its strategic program adjust priorities effectively?
- Customer value – Does the customer see the organization’s security capabilities as a differentiator? Do they know it is managing top risks?
- Market value – Do external stakeholders, including investors, vendors, and third-party supply chains, understand the organization’s security journey and the impact of the security team over time?
The time has come to openly challenge the status quo in maritime cybersecurity posture. Companies must link arms with their third parties in the face of mounting challenges and demand the very best when it comes to security. A radical new approach is needed, one that focuses on robust communication and the complete alignment of third-party cyber protection with the requirements and standards of the enterprise. The new approach goes beyond meeting compliance requirements; its goal is to markedly reduce enterprise-wide risk.