The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has warned of future cyber attacks from Russia or pro-Russian groups, similar to the NotPetya attack in 2017, which was carried out by Kremlin-backed hackers. Maersk and APM Terminals were among the victims of the NotPetya attack, which disrupted their operations for a week. TNT Express, a FedEx European unit, was among the other victims, with a total damage estimate of US$10 billion.
Because of continuous port congestion and constrained shipping capacity, Lars Jensen, CEO of shipping consultant Vespucci Maritime told, any cyber attack on a liner or port operator now will be more severe than in 2017.
Jensen explained, “Back then, the impact was manageable as there was plenty of overcapacity in both shipping lines and ports. Today, the problem is that all the supply chain congestion means there is no overcapacity at all – in fact, there is too little. A successful hit on a shipping line or a major port will therefore have a large impact on the supply chain.”
“It’s the same in all other businesses,” Jensen said, adding that while robust cybersecurity protection is critical to immunising a company against hacking, “it’s not something that can be done in the near term.” This is not something that can be accomplished immediately because it is a lengthy process that involves not only IT but also business operations and employee behaviour.”
HMM, South Korea’s flagship liner operator, told Container News that it is watching the situation in Ukraine and maintaining the continuity of clients’ supply lines, following a cyber attack on its email systems last June.
“As the threat of cyber attacks on companies has increased in recent weeks, HMM has strengthened preventive measures to protect IT systems and customers’ information, and conducts 24-hour monitoring by raising the level of vigilance against cyber attacks,” said HMM’s spokesperson.