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MPA hosts cybersecurity exercise with maritime partners

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has held an inaugural sector-wide maritime cybersecurity exercise which tested the sector’s coordination on cybersecurity incident management, emergency response plans and crisis communications.

Exercise CyberMaritime 2021 is a three-day tabletop exercise being held on 26, 29, and 30 November 2021.

The exercise will be conducted in a hybrid format involving around 90 participants from the MPA, as well as PSA Corporation Ltd (PSA), Jurong Port Pte Ltd (JP), and Pacific International Lines (PIL).

The scenarios covered in the exercise include data leaks, 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 this event, participants undertook a series of scenario-planning sessions and workshops to update their incident management and mitigation plans.

© Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)

“The maritime industry is undergoing rapid digitalisation. It is imperative to better prepare against the threat of cyber-attacks which have become more sophisticated,” said Mr Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of the MPA.

“As the world’s busiest transshipment hub and 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.”

Mr Ong Kim Pong, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the PSA, added “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.”

Mr Gan Chee Yen, Co-President and Executive Director of PIL, also commented “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 and processes. We also hope to draw practical insights into way ways we can further strengthen our preparedness in responding to such threats.”

The MPA has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dalian Maritime University (DMU) to drive talent and academic exchange.

Announced in October 2021, the agreement will see both parties cooperate in talent and the exchange of academic information in the fields of maritime and maritime affairs, including maritime safety, clean energy in the maritime sector, port management, navigational technologies, and environmental management.

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