Maritime shipping moves 90–94 percent of world trade. Any significant disruptions have global impacts. The maritime transportation system is composed of not only the ships but also the seaports and cargo terminals within them. The cyber threat to all of these nodes is here now!
From ship operations to terminals, maritime-industry operations are becoming more integrated through automation to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Multiple automated systems can be freestanding or integrated to work together. Increasingly, their operations are not continuously controlled by persons on site. Some automated systems even communicate directly with shore activities. For example, a vessel’s engines may “talk” to the manufacturer as a means to monitor their health. And the host ship or company may not be involved in that “conversation.”
Modern automation depends heavily on the global positioning system (GPS) or its precision navigation and timing equivalent. This dependence increases drastically as systems become more automated, complex, and interconnected.