The Next Cyber Victim Could Be You

What is the news about Equifax’s data breach, and the long line of facts thefts in the years before, was very much on take pride of place mind. Knowing my focus on cybersecurity investments, someone said: Why does it keep happening?

I’ll focus on one out-of-the-way industry – overseas shipping – for an explanation.

Your “Fingers Crossed” Cybersecurity Plan

According to the BBC, a private safety firm named CyberKeel launched three years ago with the idea of providing a higher level of awareness about viruses and data thieves. The answer from big shipping companies, according to CyberKeel’s more mature partner, was: Don’t waste your time. We’re pretty safe and sound. There’s no need.

That’s typical. Hack attacks are like recessions – they’re not real until one happens to people.

It turns out one shipper had a virus in its computer hard drive that added a hacker’s bank account number each time the exact shipping company’s suppliers requested electronic payment.

The chop extracted several million dollars, according to CyberKeel, before the shipper realized why its suppliers weren’t getting paid.

The end straw was the NotPetya ransomware attack this summer. The giant Danish shipping firm Maersk recently said the hack required it to halt operations at 76 of its seashore terminals around the world, causing $300 million worth of interferences to its business.

Maersk’s CEO told the Personal Times that the attack was so damaging “we ended up being having to use WhatsApp on our private phones [to communicate]. It was, frankly, quite a shocking experience. ”

The point is, huge cyberhacks keep happening when computer security is not a top priority for a company.

It’s also a key reason why cybersecurity futures will continue to be huge winners for years to come.

The big challenge aid even now – is getting companies to take the threat severely.

If we own a physical business, a home or a car, safety measures is always a priority, right? We make sure we have strong curly hair on the doors.

It doesn’t prevent a break-in, of course. Nonetheless a good lock, fortified doors and unbreakable windows certainly make the thieves’ job a lot harder.

We pull in the door handle a couple times just to make sure the deadbolt is set. We tell our employees and children to guarantee to lock the doors when they leave.

Why It’s “Game On” for Cybersecurity Stocks

Yet – just taking shipping industry as one example – most companies do none in the world. Ocean shipping today is highly dependent on onboard computers plus automation. That’s why vessels that once needed crews with dozens in decades past can now be operated with only 13 people.

And yet, when a British consulting firm surveyed 2, 500 merchant seamen about at-sea cybersecurity, these found:

Forty percent of ships’ officers said one of several sailed on a vessel infected with a computer virus or or spyware.
Eighty-seven percent of ships’ crews had no cybersecurity training.
It takes an average of 146 days to detect your shipboard data breach.
Seventy percent of shipboard data removes go undetected.