Maritime Digitalization

The number of cyberattacks has been booming in the last few years. The maritime industry is not an exemption in this trend, since the past year numerous incidents were reported of such nature, with the highlight being the attack on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on the 30th of September 2020.

However, IMO was neither the first nor the last reported event. A few days earlier, the French giant CMA CGM was also a victim, about 45 days after a cyberattack on Carnival Corporation exposed the personal data of numerous passengers.

Another reported attack, which is not directly related to a maritime company or organization but implicitly with the wider shipping industry, was on the Colonial Oil Pipeline, USA on the 7th of May 2021. This particular incident bred high demand for oil products and favoured the sector short-term due to the sudden increase in tanker charters.

This tendency is not expected to ease in the foreseeable future. Just about the past summer, on the 22nd of July 2021, the South African company Transnet was a victim of a cyberattack that struck their systems and caused delays in cargo transportation in the ports of Durban and Cape Town.

Nevertheless, it is unquestionable that the digitalisation of data and operations has already contributed significantly to various parts of the shipping industry, such as ports, and it will continue to pitch in as it evolves. However, for the marine industry to reap the benefits of digitalisation, it is necessary to invest in establishing effective security measures.