The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) held an inaugural sector-wide maritime cybersecurity exercise today, codenamed ‘Exercise CyberMaritime 2021’, to put the sector’s coordination on cybersecurity incident management, emergency response plans, and crisis communications to the test.
The three-day table-top exercise on 26, 29 and 30 November, will be conducted in a hybrid format involving some 90 participants from MPA, port terminal operators PSA Corporation Ltd (PSA) and Jurong Port Pte Ltd (JP), as well as shipping company, Pacific International Lines (PIL).
The exercise focuses on the cyber-physical implications of potential cyber-attacks and the increased risks in data theft and loss. The scenarios will cover data leak, ransomware, web defacement, distributed denial of service (DDoS), supply chain attacks, and compromise of critical maritime and port infrastructure and systems. In the lead-up to the three-day exercise, participants undertook a series of scenario-planning sessions and workshops and updated their incident management and mitigation plans.
Mr Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of MPA, will observe the exercise on 30 November, together with Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, Mr Ong Kim Pong, Regional Chief Executive Officer Southeast Asia of PSA International, Mr Ooi Boon Hoe, Chief Executive Officer of JP, and Mr Gan Chee Yen, Co-President and Executive Director of PIL. They will witness the operational responses to the attack scenarios and be updated on the exercise outcomes.
“The maritime industry is undergoing rapid digitalisation. It is imperative to better prepare against the threat of cyber-attacks which have become more sophisticated. As the world’s busiest transhipment hub and a key node in the global supply chain, the maritime sector in Singapore will be more vulnerable if it is not prepared to deal with such cybersecurity threats. I am glad that the exercise has brought together our partners to test not only our readiness, but also enable better coordination in crisis response amongst all stakeholders in the maritime sector should an incident occur,” said Mr Niam.
“At PSA, we have committed to updating and adjusting our cybersecurity posture to deal with the increased complexity and proliferation of connected systems in the maritime industry. The exercise is timely with the current industry-wide digital transformation and worldwide disruptions to supply chains. No global supply chain is independent of the port and maritime industry, in fact, they are wholly dependent. PSA, being one of the world’s premier hub ports, will work closely with our maritime partners to share cyber threat intelligence, establish a robust process and stress test our cyber defences to ensure resilience and sustainability in our systems,” said Mr Ong.
“As Jurong Port accelerates its digitalisation plans to improve waterfront work efficiency and develop port-centric ecosystems, it is important to step up our cybersecurity vigilance. We are happy to join MPA, PSA and PIL in this tabletop exercise to put our cyber incident management and emergency response plans to the test. This exercise also allows our team to build rapport with MPA and industry partners to strengthen our capabilities to deal with cybersecurity threats as a community,” said Mr Ooi.
“PIL is pleased to participate in Exercise CyberMaritime 2021. As a key member of Singapore’s maritime sector, PIL is committed to enhancing cybersecurity to protect our vessels, customers and crew, as we move ahead to drive digitalisation efforts to improve business and operational efficiencies. Our participation in this table-top exercise will support us in ensuring the resilience of our cybersecurity systems and processes. We also hope to draw practical insights into ways we can further strengthen our preparedness in responding to such threats,” said Mr Gan.