Of the all of the threats facing the international shipping industry, it seems that cybersecurity might be the biggest one. The Journal of Commerce recently quoted Lars Jenson, CEO of Seaintel Consulting and Cyberkeel. In this report, it was revealed that the top 15 container carriers are currently at risk from a devastating cybersecurity attack. Jensen said that tests were implemented and showed the scary results that many of these top carriers are extremely venerable.
Most carriers could be susceptible to phishing, which can allow hackers to penetrate the core information for carriers. Furthermore, it is not just the carriers who are at risk from a cybersecurity meltdown. Hackers could target freight forwarders, shippers, terminals and even ports. It now stands that many US ports lack a sufficient cyber attack response place for preventing or dealing with a cyber attack. And if a cyber breach were to occur at one US port, there could be a ripple affect to other ports. Part of the reason beyond the apathy among industry professionals for dealing with a cyber attack, is because there is usually little to no immediate indication that an organization is being attacked.
A few years ago, Chinese military hackers were suspected of causing a cyber attack against a vessel under contract with the US Department of Defense. Commercial carriers move most of the cargo for US defense forces. Thus, a cyber attack against any carrier could impact the economy, the military and the entire US ocean freight shipping industry. This is the time for carriers and other shipping companies to prepare for a cyber attack.