V.Group puts cyber safety at the heart of shipping’s future with MCERT initiative

Last month, representatives from V.Group attended the grand opening of the International Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence (IMCCE). IMCCE, a new collaboration between Templar Executives and Wärtsilä, is home to the Maritime Cyber Response Team (MCERT), which provides international intelligence feeds, advice, support and real-time assistance on critical cyber security threats to participating members.

During the opening ceremony, guests were given a live demonstration of a simulated cyber-attack on a vessel, and watched as MCERT mitigated and resolved the issue in real time. Guests were also able to see how MCERT disseminates critical information to its members to protect them from ongoing and imminent cyber threats affecting the maritime industry.

 As a member of MCERT, V.Group will be part of a larger network within the maritime community who contribute to and benefit from the open sharing of data and security experiences.

Walter Wilson, Group Information Security Manager, V.Group, said:

“At V.Group our number one priority has always been the safety of our customers. This is reflected at every touch point of our business, and can be seen in every service we provide, be it the world-class training we provide to our global team of seafarers or the constant iteration and improvement of our fleet cells.

“Recent high-profile cyber-attacks have laid bare the scale of the challenge that this issue presents for shipping – some weeks ago, insurer Munich Re warned that losses expected from cyber-attacks are greater than those expected from natural catastrophes.

“As we continue to augment our services through integrated technology and data, it’s vital that we stay abreast of best practice when it comes to cyber safety and continue to converge and share information with the rest of the industry. By encouraging transparency and open discussion with partners for collaboration, we can continue to improve the security of our systems and processes, and build resilience to cyber threats in an increasingly digitalised world.

“We need to start thinking of cyber ‘security’ more as cyber ‘safety’, and embed it into standard maritime safety culture through action and discipline afloat and ashore. In the same way we teach about closing hatches, we should teach ‘logging off’, and in the same way we practice machine maintenance, we should practice vulnerabity management – replacing end of life systems.

“Our participation in the MCERT initiative is a promise to our customers that V.Group will always deliver the highest standards of safety and protection for crew and vessels, whatever the source of risk.”

Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO, Templar Executives, commented: “The MCERT team recognise V.Group’s  commitment to providing world-class cyber safety for their customers and staff; we are delighted to welcome them as an MCERT member. The MCERT is focused on making the maritime sector a safer place to work and do business through industry collaboration and incident response services.

“V.Group’s participation in the MCERT underlines the importance of  key maritime players showing leadership on the cyber agenda, not just for their own organisations, but also in helping the entire maritime industry drive towards greater levels of cyber resilience.”