Cyber Security an Issue for the Maritime Industry

Cyber security is becoming an increasing problem for the maritime industry. As the information age has increasingly become digital, it should be no surprise that cyber security has become an important issue across nearly every sector of business, including industries like maritime and related shipping.

As recently as this year, the Switzerland shipping giant MSC was besieged by a malware attack that forced the company to close all operations in and around its Geneva port for five days, resulting in a massive loss of not only production and personnel, but the theft of stolen data as well. 2018 also saw ports in San Diego and Barcelona come under attack, as well as Chinese mega shipping agency COSCO, whose attack resulted in the loss of over half the company’s U.S. operations.

While the nature of cyber attacks are as complex as they are evasive, cyber security is not—and the problem common to nearly every attack seen in the last decade within the maritime industry is the reliance on outdated models of protection and an inflexibility toward the latest in cyber security design. “All new builds are based on software that runs systems within the ship pertaining to safety and security, and also for monitoring of operations,” maritime cybersecurity researcher at HudsonAnalytix Chronis Kapalidis says, “It’s important that cybersecurity across IT and OT becomes part of a new cyber culture. It shouldn’t be something that ship owners are requesting and pushing the vendors for – it should be something vendors have in place to demonstrate their competitive advantage.”

And that last sentence is the essence of why OTEK developed its Solid State Analog Meter, or SSAM. Powered by the signal it measures, the SSAM-N was designed without any critical digital assets such as microprocessors to avoid vulnerabilities to cybersecurity attacks. By using CMOS logic to power the instrument and a receivable analog input signal, the SSAM-N successfully functions as a digital meter while avoiding expenses related to cybersecurity protection incurred by the mandates of NEI 08-09.

Interested in learning more about how OTEK can offer your company or application cyber security paired with industry leading technology? Give us a call at 520-748-700 or email