Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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48 Proceedings Summer 2015 In Arthur C. Clarke's short story "Dial F for Frankenstein," reports of chaos in banking, transportation, military, and industrial systems follow an unexplained event where every phone on earth rang at the same time. Clarke's protagonist discovers the truth: As satellites linked the world's com- munications systems, those connections reached a critical threshold similar to that of the billions of synapses in the human brain. The previously independent systems had achieved what we would today call artifcial intelligence. While the World Wide Web has not, to our knowledge, developed into a malevolent artifcial intelligence, Clarke was spot-on in his understanding of the implications of a globally linked system of communications and comput- ers. While we celebrate every clever new app or Web-based innovation, we are only now beginning to understand that the darker side of these systems goes beyond email spam, momentary connectivity issues, or the loss of private infor- mation to hackers. Cyber system vulnerabilities have and will continue to allow damage to private sector and government systems. As our modern shipboard and shore-side systems continue to adopt these technologies, we will need to address their risks. What's So Special About Cyber? While the maritime industry is no stranger to risk, including technology-based risk, cyber security has some unique chal- lenges. Targeted attacks, widespread viruses and malware, as well as innocent (but equally harmful) software errors can originate from thousands of miles away. Cyber vulner- abilities may be invisible from the casual user's perspective, until a deliberate search fnds them, proprietary informa- tion shows up where it does not belong, or certain conditions result in damage to people, property, or the environment. Perhaps most importantly, these threats operate continu- ously, at computer speeds, and can identify even momentary vulnerabilities. Threat vectors and vulnerabilities change with every new device, software update, and innovative hacker. We must therefore recognize that cyber security is a process — something that must be done continuously, like checking a vessel's posi- tion. Cyber security needs to be part of an over- all culture of safety and security. Good marine practice must include measures to reduce cyber-related risks along with the many other practices responsible mariners have long since adopted. T hreat vector s and vul - nerabilit ies change wit h every new device, software u p d a t e, a n d i n n ov a t i ve hacker. Dial "C" for Cyber Attack How marine system vulnerabilities can increase cyber risk. by CApt AndreW tuCCi Chief of the Offce of Port and Facility Compliance U.S. Coast Guard Technology weerapatkiatdumrong / iStock / Thinkstock

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