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Calm Seas and Smooth Surfing

Author: Steve Flood and Josh Flood

This is all in the future. But what about the future future? Almost all the projects described in the last article, bar one or two, are retrofits of existing vessels. They are the projects of specialist technologically advanced consortia. As the demand for autonomous shipping grips the maritime fleet owners, they will look to the shipyards to incorporate the sensors, controls and communications equipment in their newbuilds.

Larger fleet owners such as Maersk, COSCO, Hapag-Lloyd and MSC will be able to write exacting specifications when they approach a shipyard to build 5 or 10 autonomous vessels. Over 40% of the tonnage of trading vessels in the world consists of dry bulk carriers which are ideal for automisation, as are the 28% that are oil tankers and the 13% that are container ships. CSIC, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, STX and DSME shipyards will have the resources and be happy to comply with the requirements of the heavy hitters in the Merchant Navy.

Smaller fleet operators, say, with less than ten vessels, who order ships individually, will expect the shipyard to supply the automisation. The Korean and Singaporean yards already have smart ship projects underway, as do Mitsubishi in Japan. Yards in China, other yards in Japan and elsewhere will have to bring in expertise. Hyundai’s collaboration with Accenture to develop OceanLink is described as a ‘smart ship’ platform for the shipbuilding, shipping, and onshore-logistics sectors. Daewoo (DSME) shipyard has received Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register for its collaboration with Korean marine system experts, marineworks, who use KVH communication systems for its smart ship solution (DS4) for new container ships.

Without completely destroying the romance, it is possible to describe a merchant ship as a big box with a large engine driving the propeller. To look after the engine, there is an engine control room into which all the parameters of the engine and ancillary equipment are fed and where activities can be scheduled to keep everything running in a tickety-boo fashion. To keep the ship heading in the right direction, there is a bridge or navigation control room somewhere up high where the helmsman can see the horizon.

Experience with drones has suggested that there is no need for the pilot to sit at the sharp end of a plane but can operate his vehicle from the comfort of his armchair in Texas. In the same way, the chief engineer need not man the engine control room aboard his ship nor the skipper pace the bridge. The major difference between a drone and a cargo ship is the sheer volume of data. Even in the most basic of cargo ships there will be hundreds of sensors on the engines and ancillary equipment plus CCTV, fire alarms, gas detectors, stress measurements, safety systems etc. The bridge will be equally bedecked with data points and all these are connected by tens of miles of wiring.

Admittedly the vast majority of data travelling these wires does not need to be transmitted instantaneously to any remote control room. Warnings, alarms and requests for action do need to be addressed in short order and there are plenty of these, even in the most well-maintained and efficient of ships. It may be considered that artificial intelligence (AI) can sort through these and deal with the most routine. Technically competent engineers and seamen who have not only the knowledge and experience to understand the potential problems and understand the coding needed to deal with this, in AI, are relatively rare. For this reason alone, progress needs to be considerate and systems commissioned to deal with failure and not just to comply with rules and specifications.

Typically a smart ship system can be described as an array of modules each designed to do the job once done by seamen. The accumulated data derived from the observations, decisions and actions of these pseudo-cyber-seamen modules can amount to Terabytes per hour. If live-streaming CCTV is added, there is going to be a need for a large amount of communication capacity.

And then there is the problem of the communication infrastructure – Low Earth Orbit (LEO) arrays such as Iridium, OneWeb, LeoSat, O3b and Elon Musk’s Starlink promise the potential of significant data transfer. Indeed, Samsung published a paper in 2015 proposal suggesting the provision of a Zetabyte/month capacity which is equivalent to 200GB/month for 5 Billion users worldwide. The problem for such a proposal is underutilisation. Such satellites orbit the earth every two hours and, of that, spend about one third over populated areas where they are used fully.

Geostationary arrays, such as Inmarsat, Intelsat and Echostar, and Medium Earth orbit arrays such as Galileo, GPS and GLONASS are positioned for populous areas but also have spare time on their antennae. To fully utilise these arrays, there needs to be users around the globe and the oceans have a relative dearth of need.

A quick look at marine traffic (www.marinetraffic.com) on an unremarkable Sunday 21st July 2019 shows that there are over 200,000 marine vessels large enough to be fitted with an AIS tracker sailing the oceans blue. All of these are currently being tracked by satellite. Admittedly they don’t send a lot of data back home, just enough for tracking purposes. If they were all smart or smartish, then there is a need for a large data pipeline back to headquarters.

The serendipitous, or not so serendipitous, advancement of autonomous shipping and satellite communication has potentially many benefits – cheaper trade, safer ships (it is estimated that 75 to 96% of shipping accidents involve human error), less pollution, greater fuel efficiency – one research project by MUNIN (Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks) predicted savings of over $7m over a 25-year period per autonomous vessel in fuel consumption and crew supplies and salaries.

Of course, there are downsides, for instance, a large initial capital expenditure in technology, not only for the ship itself, but also of onshore operations to monitor fleet movements. There is also the danger that occurs during in any transition between current manned marine fleet and any unmanned vessel. A lack of crew will also make maintenance of moving parts incredibly difficult on long voyages and breakdowns could result in significant delays.

Something that is scantly regarded is the removal of benefit of international inter-reaction. Each of these ships will have crews of international origin. This is estimated at 1,647,500 seafarers, of which 774,000 are officers and 873,500 are ratings. China, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are the five largest nationalities of all seafarers (officers and ratings). The Philippines is the biggest supplier of ratings, followed by China, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. While China is the biggest supplier of officers, followed by the Philippines, India, Indonesia and the Russian Federation. These crews rub along quite well generally, and as one who has spent some time at sea, the writer can state that one of the great pleasures of sea-time (and one of the great annoyances) is inter-reacting with all the foreign crew members and learning about their culture and cuisine.

However autonomous shipping is steaming over the horizon and it must be welcomed into port if our general prosperity is to increase. The really interesting time comes after autonomous shipping when AI takes over the logistics and trading, assessing cargo prices and starts re-routing ships to maximise profit.

For more information on Valour Consultancy’s maritime connectivity, digital applications, cybersecurity, autonomous maritime vessel and other maritime reports, please contact   info@valourconsultancy.com and “Maritime Research” in the subject line.

 

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But what about the future future? Almost all the projects described in the last article, bar one or two, are retrofits of existing vessels. They are the projects of specialist technologically advanced consortia. As the demand for autonomous shipping grips the maritime fleet owners, they will look to the shipyards to incorporate the sensors, controls and communications equipment in their newbuilds. Larger fleet owners such as Maersk, COSCO, Hapag-Lloyd and MSC will be able to write exacting specifications when they approach a shipyard to build 5 or 10 autonomous vessels. Over 40% of the tonnage of trading vessels in the world consists of dry bulk carriers which are ideal for automisation, as are the 28% that are oil tankers and the 13% that are container ships. CSIC, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, STX and DSME shipyards will have the resources and be happy to comply with the requirements of the heavy hitters in the Merchant Navy. Smaller fleet operators, say, with less than ten vessels, who order ships individually, will expect the shipyard to supply the automisation. The Korean and Singaporean yards already have smart ship projects underway, as do Mitsubishi in Japan. Yards in China, other yards in Japan and elsewhere will have to bring in expertise. Hyundai’s collaboration with Accenture to develop OceanLink is described as a ‘smart ship’ platform for the shipbuilding, shipping, and onshore-logistics sectors. Daewoo (DSME) shipyard has received Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register for its collaboration with Korean marine system experts, marineworks, who use KVH communication systems for its smart ship solution (DS4) for new container ships. Without completely destroying the romance, it is possible to describe a merchant ship as a big box with a large engine driving the propeller. To look after the engine, there is an engine control room into which all the parameters of the engine and ancillary equipment are fed and where activities can be scheduled to keep everything running in a tickety-boo fashion. To keep the ship heading in the right direction, there is a bridge or navigation control room somewhere up high where the helmsman can see the horizon. Experience with drones has suggested that there is no need for the pilot to sit at the sharp end of a plane but can operate his vehicle from the comfort of his armchair in Texas. In the same way, the chief engineer need not man the engine control room aboard his ship nor the skipper pace the bridge. The major difference between a drone and a cargo ship is the sheer volume of data. Even in the most basic of cargo ships there will be hundreds of sensors on the engines and ancillary equipment plus CCTV, fire alarms, gas detectors, stress measurements, safety systems etc. The bridge will be equally bedecked with data points and all these are connected by tens of miles of wiring. Admittedly the vast majority of data travelling these wires does not need to be transmitted instantaneously to any remote control room. Warnings, alarms and requests for action do need to be addressed in short order and there are plenty of these, even in the most well-maintained and efficient of ships. It may be considered that artificial intelligence (AI) can sort through these and deal with the most routine. Technically competent engineers and seamen who have not only the knowledge and experience to understand the potential problems and understand the coding needed to deal with this, in AI, are relatively rare. For this reason alone, progress needs to be considerate and systems commissioned to deal with failure and not just to comply with rules and specifications. Typically a smart ship system can be described as an array of modules each designed to do the job once done by seamen. The accumulated data derived from the observations, decisions and actions of these pseudo-cyber-seamen modules can amount to Terabytes per hour. If live-streaming CCTV is added, there is going to be a need for a large amount of communication capacity. And then there is the problem of the communication infrastructure – Low Earth Orbit (LEO) arrays such as Iridium, OneWeb, LeoSat, O3b and Elon Musk’s Starlink promise the potential of significant data transfer. Indeed, Samsung published a paper in 2015 proposal suggesting the provision of a Zetabyte/month capacity which is equivalent to 200GB/month for 5 Billion users worldwide. The problem for such a proposal is underutilisation. Such satellites orbit the earth every two hours and, of that, spend about one third over populated areas where they are used fully. Geostationary arrays, such as Inmarsat, Intelsat and Echostar, and Medium Earth orbit arrays such as Galileo, GPS and GLONASS are positioned for populous areas but also have spare time on their antennae. To fully utilise these arrays, there needs to be users around the globe and the oceans have a relative dearth of need. A quick look at marine traffic (www.marinetraffic.com) on an unremarkable Sunday 21st July 2019 shows that there are over 200,000 marine vessels large enough to be fitted with an AIS tracker sailing the oceans blue. All of these are currently being tracked by satellite. Admittedly they don’t send a lot of data back home, just enough for tracking purposes. If they were all smart or smartish, then there is a need for a large data pipeline back to headquarters. The serendipitous, or not so serendipitous, advancement of autonomous shipping and satellite communication has potentially many benefits – cheaper trade, safer ships (it is estimated that 75 to 96% of shipping accidents involve human error), less pollution, greater fuel efficiency – one research project by MUNIN (Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks) predicted savings of over $7m over a 25-year period per autonomous vessel in fuel consumption and crew supplies and salaries. Of course, there are downsides, for instance, a large initial capital expenditure in technology, not only for the ship itself, but also of onshore operations to monitor fleet movements. There is also the danger that occurs during in any transition between current manned marine fleet and any unmanned vessel. A lack of crew will also make maintenance of moving parts incredibly difficult on long voyages and breakdowns could result in significant delays. Something that is scantly regarded is the removal of benefit of international inter-reaction. Each of these ships will have crews of international origin. This is estimated at 1,647,500 seafarers, of which 774,000 are officers and 873,500 are ratings. China, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are the five largest nationalities of all seafarers (officers and ratings). The Philippines is the biggest supplier of ratings, followed by China, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. While China is the biggest supplier of officers, followed by the Philippines, India, Indonesia and the Russian Federation. These crews rub along quite well generally, and as one who has spent some time at sea, the writer can state that one of the great pleasures of sea-time (and one of the great annoyances) is inter-reacting with all the foreign crew members and learning about their culture and cuisine. However autonomous shipping is steaming over the horizon and it must be welcomed into port if our general prosperity is to increase. The really interesting time comes after autonomous shipping when AI takes over the logistics and trading, assessing cargo prices and starts re-routing ships to maximise profit. For more information on Valour Consultancy’s maritime connectivity, digital applications, cybersecurity, autonomous maritime vessel and other maritime reports, please contact   info@valourconsultancy.com and “Maritime Research” in the subject line.   [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Is Enhanced Communications For Seafaring Worth The Investment? 

There is a good assumption that effective communications are the main source of success for any business entity to survive, prosper, and grow. In fact, the importance of communications has been brought up as an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships in any business sector.

With the advent of globalisation, digitalisation, and mobility, the world has seen changes in communication technologies as the growth of connectivity has been influencing people’s mind over the last decade. The good news is that digital connectivity is here to stay and the future is promising, especially for those industries where constant communications between onshore locations and remote facilities are a high priority.

For instance, the maritime industry has seen improvements in sea-to-shore connectivity, allowing seafarers to enjoy, to some extent, the benefits of digital communications and real-time solutions for work and personal use. Yet, there are some misconceptions against onboard connectivity that need to be rejected as enhanced communications could change the life of those people who spend much of their lives at sea.

Those misconceptions repeatedly comprise costs (installation and running costs), content viewed or downloaded, and resulting distractions. However, the world is experiencing the benefits of the so-called networked economy, where connectivity is not a luxury but a basic right for everyone. It is imperative, though, to explain why investing on enhanced communications is a great business idea, and how this game-changing move improves the quality of lives of seafarers onboard.

Seafarer’s Morale

Seafarers are the most important and qualified employees to work onboard. Providing them with Internet access and other digital applications, improves their quality of life, and helps attract the best talent whilst also optimising vessels and productivity. In consequence, management would have the ability to implement HR programs that increase retention rates for sustainable development and job satisfaction.

The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey, undertaken by Futurenautics Research, brought forth important figures to the inclusion of crew morale as a core business value. “At recruitment, 73% of respondents said that the level of crew communications services provided onboard did influence their decision about which shipping company they work for.” In other words, most seafarers are telling us that no matter how great the company could be, connecting to the outside world is crucial.

Social Isolation

Seafaring is an inherently isolated occupation. There is a huge risk that crew who spend months away from home could develop feelings of boredom, marginality, exclusion, anger, despair, sadness, frustration, and especially loneliness. Maritime companies, particularly in the shipping sector, are responsible for mitigating the loneliness of being away from home and reducing other psychological side effects, so potential seafarers could find their careers more bearable and attractive.

A recent investigation made by Nautilus International has found that despite some companies believing that social interaction is affected by the provision of enhanced communications onboard vessels, seafarers rated not “speaking the common language” as having the highest impact on social interaction at work. This finding breaks the scepticism that connectivity does not foster community, togetherness, and teamwork values whilst at work.

Maintaining links with home

One of the main concerns for seafarers is that bandwidth at sea is often narrow, expensive, and unreliable, making it difficult for crews to maintain good contact with their families unless they are in port. In the digital age, furnishing seafarers with poor Internet access is counterproductive, as companies that invest in high-bandwidth sea-to-shore connectivity can not only benefit from greater operational efficiencies but they can also boost the morale of their employees by providing technology that facilitates advanced communications such as video calling.

As in business, a happy crew leads to a stable ship, and that is the case for the Engine Cadet, Zypert Barcelo, who was lucky enough to be on a ship – Maersk Laberinto – that provides connectivity at no cost. The seaman reported that he was able to perform effectively onboard as he had the ability to keep in touch with his family for emotional support, which made his life at sea easier. Although there is a risk of home-related distractions, connectivity outweighs work-related challenges for our last two following reasons.

Training Onboard

Providing computer-based training and E-learning is a source of competitive advantage as there is an ever-increasing need for innovation in the industry to reduce operational, safety, and cyber-security costs. As the world moves toward digitalisation, training and development should be indispensable to supply seafarers with skills that meet the technical requirements of modern vessels and the customised needs of companies and their customers.

To quote an example, the recent cyber-attack that shut down Maersk’s business units and IT systems, is a crystal-clear sign that the shipping industry has failed to push staff-awareness and preventive training onto the agenda. The case for security gets even more dramatic when you look at the findings from Nautilus International that show 86% of survey respondents claim that they have never received any sort of training in cyber-security, which makes companies fearful and more reluctant to consider crew connectivity.

Millennials

As the generation gap is widening in the workplace, so-called millennials are starting to question the status quo with new communications requirements and expectations onboard. To appeal to the millennial generation, Mark Charman, CEO at Faststream Recruitment Group, advised recruiters to focus on the most important factors that younger crews consider in choosing an employer: competitive salary, shorter rotations, fast promotions, new vessels, and more importantly, onboard connectivity.

While vessels are becoming more modern and new systems being put in place with integral connectivity solutions and controls, forward-thinking ship owners need to see the technological and economic opportunity that a new generation of seafarers poses to the market. By virtue, millennials are technology advocates, who easily adapt to new digital advances and trends, and make a great use of mobile applications to undertake sophisticated initiatives and other work-related tasks while keeping in touch with the outside world.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4962|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/elbe-1782991_960_720-e1506360223774-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="default" rule_size="" rule_color="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""] There is a good assumption that effective communications are the main source of success for any business entity to survive, prosper, and grow. In fact, the importance of communications has been brought up as an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships in any business sector. With the advent of globalisation, digitalisation, and mobility, the world has seen changes in communication technologies as the growth of connectivity has been influencing people’s mind over the last decade. The good news is that digital connectivity is here to stay and the future is promising, especially for those industries where constant communications between onshore locations and remote facilities are a high priority. For instance, the maritime industry has seen improvements in sea-to-shore connectivity, allowing seafarers to enjoy, to some extent, the benefits of digital communications and real-time solutions for work and personal use. Yet, there are some misconceptions against onboard connectivity that need to be rejected as enhanced communications could change the life of those people who spend much of their lives at sea. Those misconceptions repeatedly comprise costs (installation and running costs), content viewed or downloaded, and resulting distractions. However, the world is experiencing the benefits of the so-called networked economy, where connectivity is not a luxury but a basic right for everyone. It is imperative, though, to explain why investing on enhanced communications is a great business idea, and how this game-changing move improves the quality of lives of seafarers onboard.

Seafarer’s Morale

Seafarers are the most important and qualified employees to work onboard. Providing them with Internet access and other digital applications, improves their quality of life, and helps attract the best talent whilst also optimising vessels and productivity. In consequence, management would have the ability to implement HR programs that increase retention rates for sustainable development and job satisfaction. The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey, undertaken by Futurenautics Research, brought forth important figures to the inclusion of crew morale as a core business value. "At recruitment, 73% of respondents said that the level of crew communications services provided onboard did influence their decision about which shipping company they work for." In other words, most seafarers are telling us that no matter how great the company could be, connecting to the outside world is crucial.

Social Isolation

Seafaring is an inherently isolated occupation. There is a huge risk that crew who spend months away from home could develop feelings of boredom, marginality, exclusion, anger, despair, sadness, frustration, and especially loneliness. Maritime companies, particularly in the shipping sector, are responsible for mitigating the loneliness of being away from home and reducing other psychological side effects, so potential seafarers could find their careers more bearable and attractive. A recent investigation made by Nautilus International has found that despite some companies believing that social interaction is affected by the provision of enhanced communications onboard vessels, seafarers rated not “speaking the common language” as having the highest impact on social interaction at work. This finding breaks the scepticism that connectivity does not foster community, togetherness, and teamwork values whilst at work.

Maintaining links with home

One of the main concerns for seafarers is that bandwidth at sea is often narrow, expensive, and unreliable, making it difficult for crews to maintain good contact with their families unless they are in port. In the digital age, furnishing seafarers with poor Internet access is counterproductive, as companies that invest in high-bandwidth sea-to-shore connectivity can not only benefit from greater operational efficiencies but they can also boost the morale of their employees by providing technology that facilitates advanced communications such as video calling. As in business, a happy crew leads to a stable ship, and that is the case for the Engine Cadet, Zypert Barcelo, who was lucky enough to be on a ship – Maersk Laberinto – that provides connectivity at no cost. The seaman reported that he was able to perform effectively onboard as he had the ability to keep in touch with his family for emotional support, which made his life at sea easier. Although there is a risk of home-related distractions, connectivity outweighs work-related challenges for our last two following reasons.

Training Onboard

Providing computer-based training and E-learning is a source of competitive advantage as there is an ever-increasing need for innovation in the industry to reduce operational, safety, and cyber-security costs. As the world moves toward digitalisation, training and development should be indispensable to supply seafarers with skills that meet the technical requirements of modern vessels and the customised needs of companies and their customers. To quote an example, the recent cyber-attack that shut down Maersk’s business units and IT systems, is a crystal-clear sign that the shipping industry has failed to push staff-awareness and preventive training onto the agenda. The case for security gets even more dramatic when you look at the findings from Nautilus International that show 86% of survey respondents claim that they have never received any sort of training in cyber-security, which makes companies fearful and more reluctant to consider crew connectivity.

Millennials

As the generation gap is widening in the workplace, so-called millennials are starting to question the status quo with new communications requirements and expectations onboard. To appeal to the millennial generation, Mark Charman, CEO at Faststream Recruitment Group, advised recruiters to focus on the most important factors that younger crews consider in choosing an employer: competitive salary, shorter rotations, fast promotions, new vessels, and more importantly, onboard connectivity. While vessels are becoming more modern and new systems being put in place with integral connectivity solutions and controls, forward-thinking ship owners need to see the technological and economic opportunity that a new generation of seafarers poses to the market. By virtue, millennials are technology advocates, who easily adapt to new digital advances and trends, and make a great use of mobile applications to undertake sophisticated initiatives and other work-related tasks while keeping in touch with the outside world. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Maersk Cyber-Attack: A Lesson Learned?

As the shipping industry keeps moving slowly to new forms of technology and digital innovations, criminality has started to make a huge impact on the ocean supply chain. On June 27th, A.P. Moller-Maersk fell victim to a coordinated international cyber-attack, which affected several of its businesses across the world, causing the shutdown of IT systems across its business units against virtual intrusion. The impact of the attack was critically significant not only for the amount of goods being transported on a daily basis, but also for the major disruption it caused on its port-to-port communications and digital applications.

Without a doubt, the recent cyber-attack unraveled key vulnerabilities and plausible negligence given Maersk’s position as the world biggest shipping line and also, operator of 76 ports via its APM Terminals division. The Danish firm reported, “We can confirm that Maersk has been hit as part of a global cyber-attack named Petya on the 27 June, 2017. IT systems are down across multiple sites and select business units…We have contained the issue and are working on a technical recovery plan with key IT-partners and global cyber security agencies”.

It is difficult to ascertain the exact reasons why Maersk fell victim to such a criminal manoeuvre without having a look at its computer systems and IT capabilities. Nonetheless, it does beg the question: how does one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, which beyond doubt, invests huge amounts of money on IT developments, get brutally infected? During a live interview, Vincent Clerc, Maersk Line’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained that while continuous security assessments and further investigations were still in progress, the firm had been focusing on devoting more resources to business continuity and adequate protection for its customers.

As part of its response to the attach, Maersk enabled the use of manual processes and INNTRA to guarantee continuity and deter customers to keep facing disruptions. After a week of backlog and assessments for full transparency, major digital applications and APM Terminals resumed operations and productivity levels reached normality. Yet, as opposed to other insiders who failed to enumerate the causes that made Maersk a clear victim, surveys and industry experts exposed their views on this topic. These views commonly comprise a mixture of technological, human, and digital failings.

In its Crew Connectivity 2015 survey, Futurenautics found that, “Only 12% of crew had received any form of cyber security training. In addition, only 43% of crew were aware of any cyber-safe policy or cyber hygiene guidelines provided by their company for personal web-browsing or the use of removable media (USB memory sticks etc.). Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the above statistics, fully 43% of crew reported that they had sailed on a vessel that had become infected with a virus or malware”.

Phil Tinsley, Manager, Maritime Security at Bimco said, “It is the human element which we believe is the gravest concern. Why? There is unfortunately still a lack of awareness of the potential severity of a malicious cyber security attack on board a ship. Information technology systems and operational technological system protocols are often not fully understood by all ships’ crews. There is potential for an incident to occur through negligence, misuse or even deliberate acts when dealing with on board systems, which are connected”.

Digital innovations are also the newest game changers that are exposing shipping companies to new vulnerabilities. With more than 600 vessels operating in around 130 countries, Maersk created the “Maersk Advanced Analytics Team” in order to improve operational efficiencies, fuel savings, and customer service. Yet, digitalisation absorbs new issues; vessels are increasingly using systems that rely on data usage and analytics that bring a greater risk of unauthorised access or malicious attacks to ships’ systems and networks.

“One of the biggest challenges I see in the shipping and maritime sector is the pace of digitalisation in the industry versus the ever-changing threat landscape. Today a lot of critical functions, commercial and business operations must meet the digitalisation demand and this has forced industries, including the shipping and maritime sector into meeting demands, which potentially changes the way security was built and designed to secure infrastructure, protect data, customers and employees,” said Jens Monrad, Senior Intel Analyst, at FireEye iSight.

The shipping industry is waking up to a new era of technological innovations. Even so, there is an evident lack of maturity, even for the largest shipping firms, to develop a technical checklist of preventive actions that should be followed to avoid potential cyber threats. Transforming obsolete processes and fragmented supply chains into fully protected, integrated systems requires pragmatism and caution to say the least. Lars Jensen, CEO and partner, at SeaIntelligence Consulting, added:

“Many shipping companies wrongfully believe that cyber security has to be expensive. The reality is that often simple, inexpensive, actions will raise security significantly both on the landside and on the vessels. Often it is a matter of ensuring that systems get updated in a timely fashion, business processes are changed slightly, networks are properly configured, security features are tested and users properly trained.”

Valour Consultancy ratifies the importance that cyber awareness has in todays’ shipping world. By implication, cyber security should be considered vertically and horizontally, from top management ashore to onboard crews, assigning resources and responsibilities that could create a new culture based on continuous risk assessments and operational efficiencies. Perhaps, the Danish conglomerate failed to capture the educational/training benefits that cyber aware programs bring to the industry, which is the reason why many business units across the organisation were vulnerable to the crime.

Ongoing risk assessments should sequentially be employed once awareness reaches optimal results. Every employee should be aware of any potential risk and internal vulnerabilities, carry out continuous assessments and identify solutions in the event of an attack, increase protection methods and mitigate the impact of exposure, implement contingency plans (ideally non-electronic ones against data deletion and shutdown of IT systems), and follow a recovery plan that covers the inspection, detection, and deletion of threats. Following those actions is essential to minimise the risk of loss of data, revenue, and reputation.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_text] As the shipping industry keeps moving slowly to new forms of technology and digital innovations, criminality has started to make a huge impact on the ocean supply chain. On June 27th, A.P. Moller-Maersk fell victim to a coordinated international cyber-attack, which affected several of its businesses across the world, causing the shutdown of IT systems across its business units against virtual intrusion. The impact of the attack was critically significant not only for the amount of goods being transported on a daily basis, but also for the major disruption it caused on its port-to-port communications and digital applications. Without a doubt, the recent cyber-attack unraveled key vulnerabilities and plausible negligence given Maersk’s position as the world biggest shipping line and also, operator of 76 ports via its APM Terminals division. The Danish firm reported, “We can confirm that Maersk has been hit as part of a global cyber-attack named Petya on the 27 June, 2017. IT systems are down across multiple sites and select business units…We have contained the issue and are working on a technical recovery plan with key IT-partners and global cyber security agencies”. It is difficult to ascertain the exact reasons why Maersk fell victim to such a criminal manoeuvre without having a look at its computer systems and IT capabilities. Nonetheless, it does beg the question: how does one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, which beyond doubt, invests huge amounts of money on IT developments, get brutally infected? During a live interview, Vincent Clerc, Maersk Line’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained that while continuous security assessments and further investigations were still in progress, the firm had been focusing on devoting more resources to business continuity and adequate protection for its customers. As part of its response to the attach, Maersk enabled the use of manual processes and INNTRA to guarantee continuity and deter customers to keep facing disruptions. After a week of backlog and assessments for full transparency, major digital applications and APM Terminals resumed operations and productivity levels reached normality. Yet, as opposed to other insiders who failed to enumerate the causes that made Maersk a clear victim, surveys and industry experts exposed their views on this topic. These views commonly comprise a mixture of technological, human, and digital failings. In its Crew Connectivity 2015 survey, Futurenautics found that, “Only 12% of crew had received any form of cyber security training. In addition, only 43% of crew were aware of any cyber-safe policy or cyber hygiene guidelines provided by their company for personal web-browsing or the use of removable media (USB memory sticks etc.). Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the above statistics, fully 43% of crew reported that they had sailed on a vessel that had become infected with a virus or malware”. Phil Tinsley, Manager, Maritime Security at Bimco said, “It is the human element which we believe is the gravest concern. Why? There is unfortunately still a lack of awareness of the potential severity of a malicious cyber security attack on board a ship. Information technology systems and operational technological system protocols are often not fully understood by all ships’ crews. There is potential for an incident to occur through negligence, misuse or even deliberate acts when dealing with on board systems, which are connected”. Digital innovations are also the newest game changers that are exposing shipping companies to new vulnerabilities. With more than 600 vessels operating in around 130 countries, Maersk created the “Maersk Advanced Analytics Team” in order to improve operational efficiencies, fuel savings, and customer service. Yet, digitalisation absorbs new issues; vessels are increasingly using systems that rely on data usage and analytics that bring a greater risk of unauthorised access or malicious attacks to ships’ systems and networks. “One of the biggest challenges I see in the shipping and maritime sector is the pace of digitalisation in the industry versus the ever-changing threat landscape. Today a lot of critical functions, commercial and business operations must meet the digitalisation demand and this has forced industries, including the shipping and maritime sector into meeting demands, which potentially changes the way security was built and designed to secure infrastructure, protect data, customers and employees,” said Jens Monrad, Senior Intel Analyst, at FireEye iSight. The shipping industry is waking up to a new era of technological innovations. Even so, there is an evident lack of maturity, even for the largest shipping firms, to develop a technical checklist of preventive actions that should be followed to avoid potential cyber threats. Transforming obsolete processes and fragmented supply chains into fully protected, integrated systems requires pragmatism and caution to say the least. Lars Jensen, CEO and partner, at SeaIntelligence Consulting, added: “Many shipping companies wrongfully believe that cyber security has to be expensive. The reality is that often simple, inexpensive, actions will raise security significantly both on the landside and on the vessels. Often it is a matter of ensuring that systems get updated in a timely fashion, business processes are changed slightly, networks are properly configured, security features are tested and users properly trained.” Valour Consultancy ratifies the importance that cyber awareness has in todays’ shipping world. By implication, cyber security should be considered vertically and horizontally, from top management ashore to onboard crews, assigning resources and responsibilities that could create a new culture based on continuous risk assessments and operational efficiencies. Perhaps, the Danish conglomerate failed to capture the educational/training benefits that cyber aware programs bring to the industry, which is the reason why many business units across the organisation were vulnerable to the crime. Ongoing risk assessments should sequentially be employed once awareness reaches optimal results. Every employee should be aware of any potential risk and internal vulnerabilities, carry out continuous assessments and identify solutions in the event of an attack, increase protection methods and mitigate the impact of exposure, implement contingency plans (ideally non-electronic ones against data deletion and shutdown of IT systems), and follow a recovery plan that covers the inspection, detection, and deletion of threats. Following those actions is essential to minimise the risk of loss of data, revenue, and reputation. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]