An unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) lifts off from Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) autonomous robotic boat during the finals of the 2018 International RoboBoat Competition held at Reed Canal Park in South Daytona, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams)

The Future of Autonomous Ships Rests in Their Ability to Tackle Cyberattacks

At the Autonomous Ship Technology conference in Amsterdam, Joseph Beel, the strategic programs manager at Cisco, spoke on how advancements in the domains of Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and mobility systems are disrupting the way the maritime industry operates – while subsequently putting vessels under cybersecurity risks arising from the considerable increase in attack avenues.

“If you look at a ship from an engineering perspective, it actually is a network of systems. The control systems were securely built in from the perspective that access was limited, and assumed that anybody that had access to the engineering room was authorized to be there,” said Beel. “People didn’t build in a lot of cybersecurity controls and typically had different protocols within the vessel that weren’t really connected.”

However, with regard to an autonomous ship, it is critical that all these protocols are interconnected, as several data streams are being updated in real-time and also since a well-networked system will make operations more streamlined and efficient.

Read more at Freight Waves

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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