Ports and the cyber threat
Ports wake up to cyber threat.
Cyber risks creep up on the unwary
John Bensalhia finds out why bulk terminals are just as vulnerable to attack as container hubs
Ports have found that there’s a price to pay for modern technological marvels: cyberattacks pose a great threat to ports. The last 12 months have seen cyberattacks aimed at the Port of San Diego, where a cyber security threat disrupted the port’s information technology systems; the Port of Barcelona, where an attack affected some of the port’s servers and systems; and a Cosco Shipping-affiliated terminal at the Port of Long Beach, which suffered a ransomware attack.
Such attacks can have a serious effect on all terminals in a port, not just on the more public facing container terminals. Ahead of last year’s Association of Bulk Terminal Operators’ annual conference, Ian Adams, chief executive, said that both physical and cyber security remain a particular weak spot for the ship-to-shore interface. “Ports and terminals are not only at risk from breaches in their own security but also their customers’. If hackers attack terminals it can result not only in the loss of sensitive information, but also loss of power, loss of system availability, port congestion and reputational damage. Terminal operators do need to have a robust business continuity plan in place.”
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