Mr Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), opened a new 24/7 Maritime Cybersecurity Operations Centre (MSOC) on May 16. The MSOC will be operated by ST Engineering in its Hub.
MSOC will conduct 24/7 monitoring and correlate data activities across all maritime Critical Information Infrastructure (CII). It will have the capability to (a) detect and monitor cyber-attacks by analysing activities in the IT environment; (b) detect anomalies and threats; and (c) respond to the cybersecurity incidents using available technology solutions.
The objective of MSOC is to strengthen Singapore’s maritime cybersecurity posture through early detection, monitoring, analysis and response to potential cyber-attacks on maritime CIIs. This will allow MPA to work closely with CIIs to ensure the protection of maritime CIIs and investigate any cybersecurity threat or incident. MPA will also build key data linkages between MSOC and Port Operations Control Centre in order to respond to cyber incidents in a more holistic and timely manner.
Mr Niam said, “Cyber threats come in many forms and have been rising steadily across the globe. As the world’s busiest transhipment hub, it is important that we safeguard our maritime and port critical infrastructure to prevent a major disruption to port operations and delivery of services.”
Maritime Cybersecurity Training
Beyond setting up MSOC, MPA has also put in place other initiatives to strengthen the cybersecurity readiness of the maritime sector. To better equip maritime professionals with the relevant cybersecurity skills, MPA has collaborated with Singapore Shipping Association and Singapore Polytechnic to develop a new “Maritime Cybersecurity (Intermediate) Training Course” for maritime personnel to enhance their knowledge in managing cyber threats and challenges. This one-day course will be built upon the existing basic course where participants will learn more about cyber risk management and counter-measures from a practitioner’s perspective. This new course will be rolled out in first half of next year.
Maritime Cybersecurity Research
MPA has also collaborated with the Singapore Maritime Institute and local institutes of higher learning to embark on a Maritime Cybersecurity Research programme. This programme will focus on the protection of shipboard systems to mitigate cyber threats with the growing digitalisation on board ships.
Cybersecurity Network of Port Authorities
MPA will build on the existing Port Authorities Roundtable initiative, as well as with other partner networks, an information-sharing network with other port authorities. The network aims to foster efforts across port authorities to step up the sharing of intelligence relating to maritime cybersecurity, with the objective of enhancing situational awareness of cyber threats and incidents. The network can also collaborate on cybersecurity initiatives for the maritime sector.