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Lack of procedures the real cyber threat to maritime warns IEC Telecom

Nabil Ben Soussia, vice president maritime of IEC Telecom
Despite the alarmist warnings of ships being hijacked in a cyber-attack IEC Telecom warns the real threat comes from staff carelessly downloading a virus by not following procedures.

Nabil Ben Soussia, vice president maritime of IEC Telecom, said that companies need to redefine policies to take into account cyber security.

“Too many companies treat digital security as an after-thought and do not have suitable policies and procedures in place,” warned Ben Soussia, who is speaking at Seatrade ShipTech Middle East, in Dubai on Tuesday.

“There is a lack of awareness of how one silly slip-up, like downloading a virus from the internet or a memory stick, can destroy your working environment.”

One of the concerns in cyber security in the maritime space is allowing the crew on board vessel to access the internet for personal use, something which Ben Soussia sees at essential. “The new generation are hopeless without the internet,” he said “they find everything via google or YouTube.”

He said that it is easy to provide internet access for the crew without compromising cyber security on the vessel. “It’s a case of managing the corporate environment,” Ben Soussia said. “You need to secure critical systems in a closed network with limited and protected access from certain terminals only, strictly implement proper policies and properly train crew.”