Maritime industry grappling with cyber-physical security as IT/OT converge

A panel of maritime and cybersecurity experts on October 21 discussed the changing demands on the maritime industry to ensure the physical security of vessels and shore side infrastructure and operations as information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) converge.

The convergence is opening up new attack surfaces that can impact the critical OT systems that underpin the operations and safety of vessels and maritime supply chains.

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Energy and marine technologies and equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä hosted the webinar. Wärtsilä Cybersecurity GM Päivi Brunou opened the discussions by highlighting that cybersecurity risks would become more difficult to manage owing to growing complexity and a continuously evolving threat landscape, with more companies and solutions being connected, leading to more attack surfaces on technology systems.

"With all the people and goods on the oceans, there are myriad data and information that need to be protected. Three key trends over the next ten years include greater connectivity of all elements and systems, the convergence of IT and OT and the security of people.

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"The new approach in the maritime industry is the need to counter the evolving technological complexity. Even in the IT industry, it often takes more than six months for companies to realise that their data has been breached and the maritime industry may not have the luxury of this length of time to detect and neutralise such breaches and attacks."

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