Researchers from the University of Plymouth are working with the Bank of England to test how some of the world’s leading insurance firms would respond in the event of a maritime cyber attack.
The University’s Maritime Cyber Threats Research Group was asked to help develop a scenario through which companies can test their response and resilience in the face of a cyber incident.
The resulting work has now been featured in the General Insurance Stress Test 2022, published by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
It presents a scenario through which an individual or organisation gains access to the bridge system of commercial seagoing vessels, causing physical damage to ships and ports and disrupting the maritime supply chain accounting for 90% of world trade in goods.
Companies are then asked to detail how they would respond in the event of such an incident, and how it could impact their clients across a range of industries.
This will allow the Bank of England to mitigate the collective, systemic impacts of such actions, and support firms in understanding the potential market implications of their decisions.
The 2022 exercise represents the first time a maritime cyber incident has featured in the General Insurance Stress Test, and Plymouth is the only university credited in helping to pull it together.
The scenario was conceived in line with the University’s work as part of the €7 million Cyber-MAR project, which aims to develop greater awareness of the cyber threats facing the global shipping fleet and the most effective ways of countering them.
It was then demoed in the Cyber-SHIP Lab, a unique, hardware-based maritime cyber security research and development platform supported by funding from Research England and several industry partners.