AMMITEC publishes shipping cyber security survey results

Results have been published from a survey on cyber security maturity levels among shipping company members by AMMITEC (Association of Maritime Managers in Information Technology & Communications), based on research conducted in May 2021 and examining issues like cyber defences, training, and frequency of penetration testing.

The survey was carried out by way of a questionnaire addressed to full members of AMMITEC, consisting of shipping company CIOs and IT Managers, in response to the IMO cyber security regulations introduced at the beginning of this year.

Responses were received from 50 shipping companies in total, providing a set of empirical data on the measures being taken by vessel operators to protect themselves from cyber threats and some of the major obstacles identified in improving preparedness.

Among the survey questions respondents were asked if their organisation employs a dedicated person responsible for cyber security – only 26% have a distinct ISO (Information Security Officer) or similar – and what types of security measures their companies had implemented, with firewalls, endpoint protection, intrusion protection systems and USB blocking proving most popular.

Major obstacles to cyber preparedness identified by the survey include IT department workloads, insufficient budgets and a lack of management commitment to security, though the vast majority of respondent companies were able to confirm that they were providing cyber security training to shore based employees and to crews, and approximately three quarters were doing some form of penetration testing.

Other issues explored by the survey included information sources for cyber developments, assessment of third-party partner risk profiles, information sharing and cyber insurance. The full survey report with all results can be downloaded here.

The survey results were first announced to the public as part of a special session at the Smart Maritime Network Athens conference in June 2021. A video of the panel discussion on cyber security and the results of the survey can be viewed on YouTube.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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