Measuring Cybersecurity Effectiveness to Avoid The Wrath Of CyberAttacks


Given the number of external parties with which marine enterprises interface, the potential for cyber exploitation is enormous. You can’t be cyber-resilient until you measure the degrees of protection provided by aboard vessel systems. Out of sight should never mean out of mind!

One of the most difficult components for any IT team is calculating the efficacy of their organization’s cybersecurity rules and systems. It just isn’t enough to assume that because no cyberattacks or breaches have occurred thus far, the cybersecurity measures in use are strong and effective.

KPIs and goals have been used by organizations for many years to assess individual and corporate performance, but this is a relatively new notion in the field of information security. As systems, networks, and data grow more interconnected, so do vulnerabilities; thus, KPIs and measurements in this domain must be established and deployed.

Although, how can you assess the efficiency of protection if you are not measuring it?

Shipping firms, which are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, should do the measurement on two levels: the company as a whole and the onboard assets/vessels. Recent events in Greece have revealed the vulnerability of hacker-to-ships-to-shore-to-fleet communication, with numerous ships, impacted and potentially vulnerable to ransom assaults.

KPIs to Track the Effectiveness

It is critical to implement the appropriate KPIs and measurements. Models should be basic and straightforward to demonstrate to non-IT audiences. An organization must devise a way to determine recovery time that is objective. At a high level, cybersecurity efficacy may be divided into three steps:

Time passed between the identification of a threat and the implementation of necessary action.

The number of systems that have known flaws.

The frequency with which third-party access is granted to internal networks.

Because the threat is constantly present, it is critical that the protection and defense systems always remain activated. To provide a full solution, an effective defense must regularly scan all vulnerabilities in real-time. A notable example is the marine industry, which handles more than 80% of the global supply chain. The sector has access to marine cybersecurity solutions, which are self-deploying and monitoring threats across both IT and OT real estate.

However, we have seen recent attempts that leverage shore-based and third-party vulnerabilities throughout the entirety of a fleet’s technology and communications stack. This is why the next generation of the cyber defense comprises a real-time map of all network assets as well as an automatic, built-in cybersecurity check-up that validates continuing compliance with marine legislation.

Because the equipment aboard each ship varies in age and complexity, there is no ‘one size fits all approach to cybersecurity assessment, which is why IT managers are encouraged to test and measure their cybersecurity performance on a regular basis. Better Threat Detection leads to fast remediation with real-time monitoring capabilities. Vulnerabilities are readily found with continuous vulnerability scanning (attack simulation), and organizations are assisted with mitigation advice and visibility into which IP addresses access internal networks and how frequently. Moreover, unauthorized/third-party access detection and monitoring is enforced.

As we witness the issues and pressure points affecting the global economy, it is easy to forget that all systems are now interconnected owing to increased digitization, making them even more vulnerable to cybercrime.

GCP(Good Case Practices)

There is an urgent need to create best practices for defense and protection against breaches, as well as to manage the industry’s vast risks.

The latest vulnerability that has made the news should serve as a caution to businesses. The widely used Apache Log4j, a Java-based system used to configure applications, identified a severe vulnerability that has the potential to affect the internet. Companies are now in the dark, unsure whether their vendors have been affected by this, with little chance of finding out. This is just another illustration of the urgent need to assess the efficiency of your cybersecurity procedures and guarantee that you will not encounter any downtime.

Another example of an assault caused by defective or insufficient cybersecurity safeguards is the recent attack on numerous Greek fleets via an unknowing maritime communications provider, which resulted in the hacking of dozens of ships. It could have been much worse as it is not unusual for a communications provider to provide services to over 6000 vessels in over 600 distinct maritime companies.

A successful cyberattack via a single third-party vendor with direct vessel access might jeopardize 6% of the worldwide fleet. Measure – check – update – test – repeat should be the Email Security Solutions motto because if you don’t check and measure, you won’t know whether your cyber defenses are adequate.