Amsterdam develops cyber defence system

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

31 January 2019


A cyber security programme to increase the port community's digital resilience has been launched by the Port of Amsterdam.

The Programme comprises two important elements, a hotline and the CYREN network (Cyber Resilient North Sea Canal Area). The CYREN network collects information about cyber threats and shares this with the affiliated companies. The hotline provides these companies timely and effective information about potential cyber attacks in the North Sea Canal Area. Companies can contact the hotline when a situation occurs that could impact the port region. The hotline is staffed by the Harbour Master's Division.

According to the port authority, the Netherlands is one of the world's top three countries affected by cyber attacks. Ports are particularly vulnerable, as they have a wide range of information systems and their data is used by many different parties. It stresses that every company needs to have implemented basic cybersecurity controls such as an awareness programme, segregation of networks, timely installations of security updates and a multi-layered security approach. Port of Amsterdam attaches importance to the proactive involvement of companies in the port area in joint efforts to improve cyber resilience.

Marleen van de Kerkhof, Harbour Master of Port of Amsterdam and initiator of Port of Amsterdam's Cybersecurity Programme, said, “Data flows and chains are increasingly being linked together and made available to a broad public on the Internet. This offers both opportunities and substantial challenges for information security. An attack on a customer's or supplier's information system not only impacts the company but can often also affect all other companies in its surroundings and disrupt shipping operations: cyber incidents are not limited by physical boundaries. Rapidly sharing the latest information about threats, incidents and perspectives for action increases the cyber resilience of the entire port region”.

CYREN has been recognised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy through the Digital Trust Center. Several companies and organisations make an active contribution to the development of the CYREN network in the North Sea Canal Area.

More information and an animation of the hotline is available at www.portofamsterdam.com/cyren