MPA Singapore carries out cyber-security exercise

07 December 2021

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) started an inaugural sector-wide maritime cybersecurity exercise , codenamed ‘Exercise Cyber Maritime 2021’.

The three-day table-top exercise on 26, 29 and 30 November, will be conducted in a hybrid format involving some 90 participants from MPA, port terminal operators PSA Corporation Ltd (PSA) and Jurong Port Pte Ltd (JP), as well as shipping company, Pacific International Lines (PIL).

The aim is to put the sector’s coordination on cybersecurity incident management, emergency response plans, and crisis communications to the test.

The exercise focuses on the cyber-physical implications of potential cyber-attacks and the increased risks in data theft and loss.

The scenarios will cover data leak, 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 the three-day exercise, participants undertook a series of scenario-planning sessions and workshops and updated their incident management and mitigation plans.

“The maritime industry is undergoing rapid digitalisation. It is imperative to better prepare against the threat of cyber-attacks which have become more sophisticated

stated Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of MPA.

In addition, Ong Kim Pong, Regional Chief Executive Officer Southeast Asia of PSA International, mentioned that the exercise “is timely with the current industry-wide digital transformation and worldwide disruptions to supply chains.”

"Jurong Port accelerates its digitalisation plans to improve waterfront work efficiency and develop port-centric ecosystems, it is important to step up our cybersecurity vigilance. We are happy to join MPA, PSA and PIL in this tabletop exercise to put our cyber incident management and emergency response plans to the test"

stated Ooi Boon Hoe, Chief Executive Officer of JP

The exercise comes at a time when multiple cyber attacks have affected shipping and other sectors. More specifically, Swire Pacific Offshore was the latest victim in a series of cyber-attacks, following Bureau Veritas which had to take its servers offline.

Moreover, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas informed that on 19 November it was been impacted by a cyber security incident. To contain the issue, IT systems are shut down across multiple business units and locations.