Cyber-attacks and scrubbers in focus at Loss Prevention Committee Meeting No.11

The 11th meeting of Norwegian Hull Club’s Loss Prevention Committee (LPC) took place in London on February 5 and 6 – the first time the event has been held outside of Norway.

The LPC is dedicated to improving best practice through the sharing of knowledge. The committee gathers senior technical and operational executives from The Club’s members to share their experiences, with a strong focus on safety and loss prevention. Norwegian Hull Club contributes by sharing insight gained from handling some 2,000 claims annually.  

 The theme for LPC No.11 was “A proactive approach to a digitalized maritime future” and delegates heard from a wide variety of experts across a broad span of relevant topics. As always, the subjects of the presentations were designed to inspire discussion and debate, increasing knowledge regarding common challenges within the industry. 

One of the recurring themes was cyber security. Ghonche Alavi of NYA - Norwegian Hull Club’s strategic partner for crisis response and crisis management matters - revealed how hackers often use free, open-source programs on ‘the dark web’ that are specifically created to launch cyber attacks. Shewent on to stress the importance of awareness and training within organisations to help employees recognise suspicious emails, attachments and links, as well as the appropriate actions required 

Valuable, insightful group discussions were then held between the committee members, in which they discussed (under Chatham House Rule conditions) the planning and measures in place in their respective companies, and what more could be done to help further protect the industry in general. 

In keeping with the LPC’s value of knowledge sharing – particularly when it comes to practical advice that can be acted upon - Susan Sharawi of Deloitte drew attention to the folly of having a business’s recovery plans in case of cyber attack stored on a laptop. In her presentation LessonsFrom a Real Cyber Crisis, she looked at two notorious attacks: WannaCry and NotPetya. She also emphasised the importance of having up-to-date systems – in both attacks, old servers / legacy hardware were exploited by the hackers.

Her colleague Dag Nesfossen stressed the importance of companies identifying what matters most to them when it comes to doing business securely in the digital age – what they cannot possibly operate without. In order to protect these vital elements, the maturity of security / recovery systems and processes must be assessed realistically, he said.  
After a groupwork session regarding cyber-risk management training, Tim Lambon, Director Crisis Response at NYA, presented “Maritime Cyber Attack: Problems, Possibilities and Planning in which he highlighted the importance of having a plan in place to deal with a cyber-attack, sticking with the plan during an incident, then reviewing it afterwards. The committee was told that a company’s ability to recover “is only as good as its last tested and secured back-up”.  

Norwegian Hull Club’s Steinar Sivertsen, Head of the Technical Department, looked at one of the hot topics within the maritime industry in Scrubbers – Your Solution or Headache?”After an overview of what scrubbers are and the different types available, he looked at the main options open to owners and operators in order to ensure compliance come 2020, plus concerns and challenges. The Club’s Rune Henriksen, Deputy Chief Claims Officer, asked the Committee to consider how the installation of scrubbers and any associated modifications might affect their insurances, pointing to several possible issues, related to coverage and the importance of involving the class society when considering installation.

Afterwards, there were fruitful discussions between the committee members regarding issues and challenges such as sourcing vendors, compatibility and the potential for conflicts between charterers and owners.  
Summarising this particular gathering of the LPC, chairman Captain Filip Svensson said there had beengreat discussions… and a lot of sharing of experience of all types which is very important for all of us”. 

In keeping with Norwegian Hull Club’s knowledge-sharing approach, a number of articles based on the topics discussed at LPC No.11 will be published in the near future. 

The next LPC meeting is due to be held in Bergen, Norway, in September. 

28. Feb. 2019