Navigating Cybersecurity Challenges in Maritime Operational Technology

By John Cusimano, Marco Ayala and Greg Villano

The maritime industry – including container ships, bulk tankers, drillships, cruise ships, mobile offshore drilling units and the ports and terminals that support them – is critical to the global economy as well as national and international security. The global marine vessels market is projected to reach $220 billion USD by the end of 2026.1

Cyber security, via Pexels

Today, the maritime industry is highly vulnerable to cybersecurity threats due to the integration of previously standalone operational technology (OT) systems, which physically control multiple systems onboard the ship, with information technology (IT) systems that are deployed onboard and on shore. As the maritime industry continues to adopt cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous technologies, interconnectivity between OT and IT will rapidly increase, leading to ever-higher cybersecurity risks. In fact, cyberattacks on the maritime industry’s OT systems have already increased by 900 percent over the last three years.


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