HFW and CyberOwl have combined to help shipowners, operators and managers protect their assets from cyber threats
They will help the maritime sector actively defend against commercial, legal, technical and operational risks by reviewing vessel cyber security seaworthiness, cyber security monitoring and related legal and consulting advice.
This comes as a major shipping line is tackling a second cyber breach in just four months.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) said one of its overseas subsidiaries discovered unauthorised access to its computer systems. K Line apologised to customers and stakeholders for any complications, concerns or potential impact this security lapse had caused. Data and information from the overseas subsidiary’s network was illegally acquired and published by hackers.
K Line said it found no indication the unauthorised access continues, and was investigating the cyber breach. “We have engaged outside experts who are currently conducting investigations on the authenticity of such information and the details of the facts,” K Line said. This follows another cyber attack on K Line’s IT systems on 18 March, which disrupted its enterprise systems.
HFW and CyberOwl said they would provide cyber risk management including due diligence, ongoing monitoring and legal advice, complementing HFW’s existing cyber security advice to clients as part of its standalone consulting business, HFW Consulting.
HFW global head of shipping Paul Dean said there is rising demand for cyber risk management because of the growing threat to maritime industries. “Cyber security is a growing concern for the global shipping industry, with the continued move towards digitalisation creating new vulnerabilities,” said Mr Dean, “and IMO 2021 introducing a regulatory requirement for owners to demonstrate cyber policies are effectively implemented.”
He said HFW was looking forward to working with CyberOwl to help clients improve their cyber readiness.
“Traditional cyber security systems are not designed to overcome the unique technical, operational and commercial challenges of shipping,” said Mr Dean, “such as the need to demonstrate due diligence in ensuring seaworthiness and cargo worthiness to minimise disagreements around liabilities in the unfortunate event of a cyber attack.”
CyberOwl chief executive Daniel Ng said they would use knowledge from helping around 100 vessel owners and managers to understand the challenges.
“We are on a mission to leverage data and analytics to shift shipping organisations towards a more active cyber posture, and help them evidence their cyber security controls are actually working,” said Mr Ng.
CyberOwl is helping shipowners to “defend themselves technically, operationally, commercially and legally in the eventuality of a cyber attack, and to prove that due diligence was exercised to ensure vessel seaworthiness and cargoworthiness.”
HFW has a global shipping team of around 200 specialist lawyers and master mariners across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific who advise clients on the full range of dry shipping, admiralty and crisis management, and transactional matters.
HFW Consulting helps clients develop their business, enhance their people and protect against risk. Its services include organisational development, training programme design and delivery, talent management, assessment process design and cyber security. Legal strategies, executive coaching, team building, risk, benchmarking, public relations and reputation management are also offered.
HFW Consulting director Chris O’Callaghan said cyber security was becoming an increasing focus and priority for company boards. “In these times of unprecedented change, organisations are realising that the previous ways of working are no longer fit for purpose, and are having to adapt with agility and at pace, to remain competitive and relevant in this evolving commercial landscape,” he said.
“Our partnership with CyberOwl is a significant development to our global consulting offering, and I look forward to working with their team to help our clients consider their tactics and approaches to mitigating the impacts posed by cyber risks.”
Cyber security will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s next Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week, to be held 9-12 August - use this link to access more details and to register for these webinars