In its June edition of Phish and Ships, Be Cyber Aware at Sea focuses on the matter of ‘What is Big Data’ and how it is vulnerable to cyber attacks. Generally, big data is a large amount of data that is almost impossible to store and process by normal means. According to Phish and Ships, the shipping industry is said to generate 100-120 million data points daily, including information gathered from ports and vessels.
Specifically, big data means big data analytics. Its role is to identify efficiencies within the industry, aiming to enhance performance, providing in the meantime advantages to shipowners, ship charterers and even ports.
For instance, a ship owners may use big data to examine the efficiency of its schedules to fit in with supply lines, to consider what cargo to transport, when and how, and with what fuel consumption to keep costs down; and use big data to create better, more efficient ships for their needs in future.
Additionally, a charter company may use big data to know where the vessels are at any time or where they are going.
However, a challenge big data faces in the quality of the data collected. DNV GL reported in the past that in 2017 the US bad data cost businesses 3.1 trillion USD.
Taking it from the cyber security perspective, a hacker could easily acquire all the information lying in big data; therefore, the industry is open to cyber attacks.
In the fear of cyber attacks, the industry monitors all important infrastructures, meaning constant connections, particularly between shore and sea, and the threat vectors rise proportionately. When we consider that big data has such open-ended value to the industry, the concern is that maintaining access to the data trumps security. That cannot be the case. The maritime sector has to ensure network security on this vast scale before uploading, and prevent security problems at source.
When an industry comes to rely on data in the way in which shipping is predicted to, the integrity of that data and trust in it, is as important and valuable as the data its.