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Transportation’s Connected OT/IoT Systems

Transportation’s Connected OT/IoT Systems

As digitalization flows through every major industry in the world, the need for visibility into the devices operating on the network–including IT, OT and IoT assets–has never been greater. And as cargo, passenger, fare and other systems used by the transportation industry become more complex and connected, they are increasingly targeted in high stakes cyberattacks.

Take for example a cargo ship’s manifest that is used to track the passage of products from one destination to another. In this age of digital connections, it’s now possible for threat actors to use malware to gain access to the manifest, and delete, alter or otherwise corrupt the information it contains.

This is just one example of how cyberattacks can disrupt maritime transportation. Let’s take a look at a few others.

Cyberattacks on maritime transportation can bring the industry to a standstill

A cyberattack on maritime transportation could disrupt the customs approval process, or facilitate the import of illegal goods. Threat actors may also have a bigger target in their sights if a virus is able jump from, say, the ship’s cargo management software to the destination port’s management systems.

Last year, the Center for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge published a report titled “Shen attack: Cyber risk in Asia Pacific ports.” It outlines the potential impact of a hypothetical virus infecting cargo database records at Asia’s major ports.

Disruptions included halting container traffic, the closure of key ports which could bring the global maritime supply chain and cruise ship industry to a standstill, and much more. The economic fallout, affecting the transportation, aviation, aerospace and manufacturing sectors in particular, was estimated at $110 billion.1

Sound far-fetched? It isn’t.

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