Cyber Security and the Future for Superyachts

Tuesday, October 08, 2019


 Preparing Crew for Cyber Attacks
(Dockwalk October 2019)

You can never be too careful when it comesto protecting your identity, crew, and clients. That’s something Coreo Superyacht Cyber Security understands. As a former superyacht deckhand, chief officer, and captain, Coreo’s founder Chris Layfield fully grasps yachting’s complexities and requirements.

Citing recent stats, Layfield says the estimated annual illicit revenues from cybercrimes topped $1.5 trillion in 2018 and 12 billion confidential records were stolen the same year. “The best way to defend your vessel against an attack is to understand your attackers. That’s where we come in,” Layfield says. “We know how hackers work.” They provide specialist support, but they also train the crew on board to think like hackers “to really understand what threats are out there that are specific to their vessel,” he says. “Once they start looking at their own existing security from the point of view of their adversary, it’s much easier for them to identify their own vulnerabilities.” According to Coreo, 95 percent of real-world attacks are targeted at the crew. “Why not start by just training [crew] to be more aware of the ways they could be attacked and how to defend themselves against it?” Layfield asks.

The company has been operating since May and are about to launch a training service alongside Da Gama Maritime shortly after MYS. Steve Monk, founder and managing director of Da Gama Maritime, says they’re launching a training program that will help crew get up to speed with their yacht. Monk says one of the main issues in the industry is the lack of time that new-build crew are given to get used to a new vessel, its set-up, and the services they’re supposed to provide. Their goal is to make training easy and low maintenance. “With a number of different training providers out there offering everything from heli-ops, medical, working aloft, cyber, powerboat handling, etc., I have for years been saying we need to pull together a one-stop shop that provides the yachts with asingle point of contact to organize all the training and put them in touch with the relevant training provider who coordinates the training, provides a single invoice to the yacht, and is there to help make the life of the senior crew [a] little bit easier as they emerge from build or refit for that matter,” Monk says.

“The intention is to formalize the set-up, which won’t take anything away from the independent companies as they can still offer their services to their clients,but what this new deal will do is help the new builds simplify the whole crew training,” says Monk.

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