Maritime Cyber Security: Getting Africa Ready
Africa’s future development objectives are anchored in well-functioning shipping and ports industries, whose cyber security is vulnerable to breaches and disruptions caused by deliberate and indiscriminate attacks. These industries are facing a number of challenges related to efficiency and effectiveness, and their continual innovation and transformation is critical if they are to serve Africa’s socio-economic needs. While cyber security is slowly becoming recognised as an important dimension of maritime security, its integration into African maritime security instruments and frameworks must be accelerated. The report provides a useful taxonomy of seven cyber threats to maritime security in terms of impact, with a specific focus on ports. These include eavesdropping, interception and hijacking, nefarious activity and abuse, disaster, system outage, unintentional damage, physical attack, and failures and malfunctions. These incidents cover a wide scope of activities, from terrorism and sabotage to identity theft, disruptions caused by natural disasters that result in port paralysis, systems destruction, illicit trafficking, theft of cargo and data, and environmental disasters. There are numerous practical examples that illustrate the scope of the challenge. For instance, the ports of San Diego and Long Beach in the United States were hit with ransomware attacks, causing disruptions to their operations. Similarly, criminals targeted port servers and systems at the Port of Barcelona, with land operations affected by the attack.