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Published on 11/07/2018

New Tech – Rough sea or plain sailing?


You don’t need to be a technician to spot how advances in digitalisation, data and analytics have redefined the business landscape.
We’ve seen productivity streamlined, production leap forward and entirely new businesses emerge seemingly overnight.

Some companies may struggle to seize the opportunity floating before their eyes.
Meanwhile others are leveraging newly found innovations and disrupting the industry, reaping the disproportionate benefits and outpacing their competitors.
Fleet management, automating processes, improving operational effectiveness and efficiencies, and – ultimately – driving down costs, with an average of 21% saved per year by companies moving to the cloud.

That said, it isn’t all tea, toast and medals.

With the technological increase, there’s the obvious threat from cybercriminals. Nobody wants their vessel to be hacked and remotely operated.

Likely? No. Possible? Yes.


One of the biggest threats actually comes from within, albeit it unintentionally. Crew using their own devices in ships systems to charge them risks malware finding its way into the vessel.

Last year, I.H.S Fairplay conducted a maritime security survey, with 34% of those responding saying their company had experienced a cyber attack in the previous 12 months, which the majority being ransomware and phishing incidents.

Now, these threats are to companies worldwide not specific to the maritime industry but don’t be fooled into thinking you aren’t at risk.

Imagine losing $44 million.

That’s not a typo. Forty-Four-Million.

It happened to Leoni AG when cybercriminals tricked finance staff into transferring money to the wrong bank account. Similar attacks take place weekly.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that 47% of those questioned in the survey believed their biggest vulnerability was their staff.

With the introduction of (sorry, I know you’ve heard it too much already) GDPR, the UK government announced your organisation can be fined up to £17 million for failing to demonstrate your security systems are equipped to withstand cyber-attacks.


So, you need a balanced leaping forward in productivity and savings, with the threat of a simple piece of software hacking your systems.

Simple steps such as not allowing the use of personal devices, separating crew/system networks or even turning monitors away from shoulder surfers can have a massive impact.
However, investing in technology which realises and manages the threat from cyber attacks should be high on your priority list.

With the launch of ECDIS, we provided some cyber security tips, and it’s still at the forefront of Martek’s mind. Approved by Flag states in over 90% off ships trading internationally, learn how Martek can provide your organisation with 87 official ADMIRALTY Nautical Publications direct from our secure server, streamlining your spending without risking your safety.