There has very recently been a surge in worry about the security of transportation vehicles. However, this concern has nothing to do with the physical aspect of the vehicles. Rather, people are becoming more and more worried that transportation technology is not secure against attacks. Air travel, for one, has been proven to be insecure in that hackers can do a lot with what they are given. Computer-savvy individuals have been able to use airport internet to hack into the email accounts of others, for example, and have even used navigation systems to briefly change a plane’s course. This vulnerability extends to maritime vessels as well.
Many commercial ships were designed in an era in which cyber security was not really an issue. The thought of someone being able to hack into a ship’s networks was nearly unfathomable. Unfortunately, the systems of such vessels have not been updated since their time of creation. This means that the vessels are floating with outdated technology, leaving them wide open to cyber attacks of all kinds.
Researchers have, thankfully, discovered that there is an easy fix to this problem. Operators can simply update their security systems. This would guarantee more safety in the ship’s design, and should even change training protocol for the crew to make operations more seamless. This would, of course, not take care of threats such as piracy, theft, and boarding, but it would protect against dangers with much more vast implications. For example, cyber attacks can affect businesses, finances, reputations, the environment, and so much more.
Cargo ships are not the only ones that must change their protocol. This has to be a nationwide maritime initiative to ensure that our ships, waters, and crew members remain safe. As it is now, all of our ships with outdated systems are intensely vulnerable, and the retreat of maritime vessels into the cyber domain just opens them up to attacks.
This flaw in the security of the nation’s vessels can be fixed with training, education, and time. All crew members need to be aware that a cyber attack could take place, and they need to know what one looks like. Additionally, the crew members need to be taught how to mitigate such attacks to make sure they remain safe and on course.
Overall, cyber security is very important in all technology, but especially in transportation vehicles. When people’s lives, business trade, and finances are on the line, it is best not to take any chances.