Maritime Cyber Threats research group


The UK has identified cyber attacks as a Tier 1 national threat.

Most research in protecting the national infrastructure has focused around key areas of power (smart grid, smart cities) and transport (ATC, rail).

The UK is highly dependent on maritime operations – economically and in terms of physical survival. Few organisations have the capability to carry out the necessary research in this area.

Plymouth University has well developed interests, in both research and teaching in marine and the marine environment, exemplified by the Marine Institute. We are uniquely placed to make a significant contribution in the area of maritime cyber threats research. The Maritime Cyber Threats Research Group has been formed to bring together leading-edge multidisciplinary research and practical expertise from across the University. The team brings expertise in the core areas of cyber-security and maritime operations, together with psychology researchers, and maritime law and policy experts.

This research expertise, in conjunction with discipline specific teaching and state of the art marine simulation environments, means we can investigate the marine cyber threat at all levels from theory through to practice.

Current project

  • Compiling a body of knowledge article for the area of maritime cyber threats.
  • Vulnerability analysis for existing ship-based systems.
  • Threat assessment for ship-based operations, including human decision making.
  • Supply chain vulnerability for maritime operations.
  • Process and training to decrease cyber attack vulnerability in the maritime setting.
  • Understanding psychological perceptions of, and responses to, risk and threat.

We can engage in discussions with academia, government and industry in all areas related to maritime cyber threats.


Jones K, Tam K, and Papadaki M. Threats and Impacts in Maritime Cyber Security, IET Engineering & Technology Reference. April 2016 

QM2 bridge computers

Radars being overhauled.