WannaCry and NotPetya must have been the most important wake-up call about cybersecurity all around the world.
When Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk’s information system was attacked on June 27 2017 by a malware (the worm, dubbed NotPetya, locked access to systems that Maersk uses to operate shipping terminals all over the world and took two weeks to fix), it led to disruption in transport across the planet, including delays at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Port of Los Angeles, Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam, and India’s largest container port near Mumbai, according to reports. That’s because Maersk is the world’s largest shipping company with 600 container vessels handling 15 percent of the world’s seaborne manufactured trade. It also owns port operator APM Terminals with 76 port and terminal facilities in 59 countries around the globe. The cyberattack cost Maersk as much as $300 million and disrupted operations for 2 weeks.
« The June 27 cyberattack is a clarion call to elevate cybersecurity to a top priority. »
Besides Maersk, press reports said other transportation and logistics industry giants were affected including German postal and logistics company Deutsche Post and German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, which was also a victim of the WannaCry ransomware hack in May.
The attack also points to the risks to global supply chains, which have become increasingly popular targets for cybercrime. Maritime supply chains tend to be especially vulnerable due to partnerships with foreign companies that may lack robust security solutions. As a result, organizations need to identify these vulnerabilities and account for the supply chain in their risk management strategy.
Examine not only first-tier partners, but second- and third-tier partners with connections that could be compromised. Prioritize threats to technology and data assets across the supply chain. Educate all employees about the current threat climate and make sure your supply chain security strategy is aligned with your organization’s overall risk management position. Here are some priorities to work on.
The unfortunate reality is that attacks are inevitable, and a security breach should be viewed as a matter of “when”, not “if.” The key is to upgrade defenses and prepare for various scenarios to minimize business disruption and the cost of downtime.
While up until now hackers have seemed more preoccupied penetrating computer systems at banks, retailers, and government agencies – places where they can find access to lots of money and data and create substantial disruption – the most recent ransomware attacks demonstrate that the transportation and logistics industry is now on hackers’ radar.
The challenges are clearly important in the transportation sector : what if someone could take the control of any subway ? What if the circulation regulation in any big city was going down ? What about the safety of connected vehicles ? Last but not least, what about the airport of the future ?
The transportation and logistics industry has characteristics that make it a particularly tempting target. First, the industry is a global one with tentacles into so many different industries around the world. Simultaneously, the industry is fragmented with large transportation and logistical giants working alongside tiny companies responsible for one short leg of a product’s long journey from raw materials, to production, to retailer, to consumer. This almost always means multiple technology systems are being employed, and multiple cybersecurity procedures of various degrees of rigor being followed. This fragmentation provides more opportunities for hackers.
« Like with all forms of warfare, attackers will seek out the weakest link in any chain – the most vulnerable element – as a target. Why steal money from the bank with all its infrastructure and protections when you can steal it on the way to the bank? »
Until now, the transportation and logistics industry has not prioritized cybersecurity except in cases where life was on the line, such as with aerospace manufacturers or airlines, where the most sophisticated protections are used. But the direct costs from cybersecurity breaches are growing exponentially, and companies – even small ones – need to invest in new systems and more comprehensive risk management. By projections, they can be expected to grow from $1.7 billion in 2015 to more than $6.8 billion by 2020.
The second edition of the European Cyber Day will be the occasion for the Europeans to talk about cybersecurity in the particular sector of transports.
The EUCD2018 agenda is coming !
9-10am – Opening Session
10-11:30am – 1st Round Table
Cyber Security of critical transport infrastructures
11:30-13am – 2nd Round Table
Cyber Security challenges for Smart Grids
13-13:30am – Closing Session
Registration fees will be around 250€ HT (including all the networking times)
To go further :
Cyberattack cost Maersk as much as $300 million and disrupted operations for 2 weeks, L.A. Times, Aug 17, 2017
Maersk’s L.A. port terminal remains closed after global cyberattack, L.A. Times, Jun 29, 2017
These Are the Known Targets in the Petya Ransomware Attack So Far, Reuters, June 27, 2017
Cyberattack using data-scrambling software causes disruptions in Europe, L.A. Times, Jun 27, 2017