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Maritime industry now a major target for computer cyber attacks

Major advances in the rapidly changing maritime industry have made this area a top target for an increasing number of sophisticated cyber criminals.  Their computer attacks are threatening vessels and ports that facilitate 95% of all UK trade – totalling around £500 billion.

Says Rick Flood, managing director of leading cybercrime firm Falanx Cyber, part of the Falanx Group: ‘We are regularly seeing reports of ransomware attacks. These are where computer systems are compromised and payments – often extortionate – demanded to unlock them’.

Just over a year ago, for instance, shipping giant Maersk experienced such a breach and the damages were estimated at $250 – $300 million.  Last year Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers with a substantial shipping division also fell victim to a new strain of ransomware. It’s reported that this cost its business $52 million – in the first quarter.  There are many such recent examples across the world, including the USA and Australia, and these will only accelerate.

‘The price of building an effective in-house cyber security solution is high and time-consuming – recruitment, staff retention and the costs related to locating those staff, the software and technologies they need to be effective are significant. Not everyone has that spending power. Operators are already conscious of the cost of both IT and Telecoms in the sector and would need to add a lot of specialist knowledge, which is currently a very scarce and expensive resource. More and more companies are falling victim to cyber-attacks so Falanx has introduced its shared Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Service for the maritime sector to help protect these targets.’

Basically, at an affordable price, this service works as an extension of a company’s IT and Cyber teams.  It provides highly skilled security experts, leading edge technology and rapid cyber incidence response, delivered from its UK-based Security Operations Centre.  It works around the clock watching for signs of a cyber-attack before they occur.  It employs advanced behavioural and endpoint analytics to hunt for unknown threats before they can gain a strong hold on a company’s environment.  It also ensures clients conform to NIS and GDPR regulations.

Says Flood: ‘Cyber criminals are continually growing in sophistication – and in lucrative areas such as maritime they are becoming increasingly greedy. The industry should be aware of this – and take appropriate action.  Our incident response line is open 24 hours a day if you have suffered an attack (https://falanxcyber.com/cyber-security-monitoring/cyber-incident-response/). Better still, take steps to avoid one by deploying our MDR service in a matter of days, thereby increasing your cyber resilience with 24×7 cover at an affordable price.’

Notes to editors:
Falanx Group (LON:FLX), is a global intelligence and cyber defence provider working with blue chip and government clients. For more information: http://www.falanx.com

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