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Seaports Require Better Security Against Hackers

By Sneer Rozenfeld - Cyber 2.0


By Sneer Rozenfeld | CEO - Wed, 10/19/2022 - 13:00

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Today, 80 percent of the world's goods are transported through seaports. Economic and global changes are also increasing the importance of ports and vessels to global economies. In combination with technological developments, the multiplicity of systems at seaports and ships and their connectivity together expose seaports, shipping companies, and vessels to many cyberthreats.
Attacks on seaports have become very common, with  attacks on ports such as the Port of London and the Port of Belgium. As ships get bigger, with more automation, fewer crew members, and more connectivity, the attack surface expands, giving hackers many more targets. A Single USB device brought onto a ship can damage all the computers and satellite communications. 

Recently, hackers have been putting a lot of effort into harming seaports, shipping companies, and even the vessels themselves, whether it is for financial gain or to harm security. These are some of the potential risks:

• Partial or total shutdown of the ports.

• Disruption of information systems, including changing records regarding the identity of the containers, their location and destination.

• Damage to dangerous materials, including those found in large quantities in the port and on the vessel while loading or unloading them.

•  Sink a ship in the port to cause a partial or complete closure of the port.

• Taking control of the entrance to the port and preventing the entry or exit of ships.

• Physical penetration of terrorists or criminals into the port.

• Gathering intelligence on what is happening in the port or in the country where the port is located.

The Port of Ashdod, which is the biggest maritime port in Israel, is s one of the first in the world to act to minimize these  risks. For over a year and a half, the port tested over 500 cyber companies as part of the accelerator program it operates and selected a limited number of cyber companies to protect it from cyberattacks. Cyber ​​2.0, the global leader in this field, is among them.

Cyber ​​2.0, provides total defense against the spread of cyberattacks within organizations, including new and unfamiliar types of attacks. As an example, the system will protect the organization from the spread of the next unknown virus, after the virus attacks the organization, and after it breaks into all other defense systems in the organization. The first computer may be penetrated but Cyber 2.0 will isolate the attack and block it from spreading. The infected computer will also be blocked from sending information outside the organization, even if it was infected before the installation of Cyber 2.0.Unlike other systems, it does not require installation on the controllers, works in disconnected networks, does not create a load on the protected system, and does not require any updates.

The Cyber 2.0 Vortex gateway serves as a Gateway to all communications coming out of a ship or a maritime vessel and allows Cyber 2.0 not just to manage all the communications from the ship but also provides a NAC solution (Network Access Control), enabling Cyber 2.0 to identify every network obscurement and block it.  

Cyber ​​2.0 with Ashdod Port personnel and the National Cyber ​​Directori in Israel mapped all the sensitive points in the port and all the equipment that is at risk. After that, they made a complete adjustment of the system in line with the special needs of the port, giving a solution to IT, OT and IOT devices 

Also, within the framework of a number of attack exercises in the port, the company was able to fully prevent the spread of these attacks.

According to Erez Kaplan, the founder and CTO of Cyber ​​2.0: "The port is a strategic place where a wide variety of different and diverse technologies are concentrated, far beyond what is accepted in the average organization, and each of them may be an opening or a target for a cyberattack.“The Ciso (chief information security officer) needs to continue protecting the port and the organization continuously, unlike  the hackers who only need only to succeed in one hack. This is why we must continue testing new technologies all the time. The hackers are using new technologies all the time and if we don’t change the way we defend, then it is not a question of IF but WHEN will I  be cyber attacked?”
As part of the collaboration between Cyber ​​2.0 and the Port of Ashdod, the system has been introduced to a number of seaports around the world, including Dubai, New York, and Barcelona.

Photo by:   Sneer Rozenfeld

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