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Port of Rotterdam to start port-wide cyber security project

Rotterdam port authority (HbR) is about to start a broad investigation aimed at harnessing the port better against cyber attacks. Around 700 companies in the port industry will be issued a questionnaire. The assessment that this follow is meant to create a base line measurement of the level of cyber security in the port of Rotterdam

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The initial investigation will focus on:

- Threats and technical precautions

- Technological dependence and organisational measures,

- The need for knowledge and development of cyber security-related provision of information.


This first orchestrated initiative follows almost one year after the two terminals operated by APM Terminals were “taken out" from June 27 to July 10 by a NotPetya attack.


Maersk Group’s Chief Executive Officer Søren Skou said that the cyber attack cost the company some €250M.

A Rotterdam Port Authority patrol vessel - traditional security is not enough
A Rotterdam Port Authority patrol vessel - traditional security is not enough

HbR anticipates an increased risk of cyber attacks as logistical chains increasingly feature digital information exchange and digital chain management tools. It cites the conclusions from this January’s World Economic Forum in Davos where cyber crime was dubbed one of the biggest threats to world economy with an estimated annual US$445B worth of damage.


The cybercrime project is being carried out by an ad hoc consortium including FERM (Rotterdam’s Port Cyber Resilience body led by Harbour Master René de Vries), the knowledge institute SmartPort, the city’s official safety and security alliance and two colleges. The initial base line measurement is meant to evolve into more tangible cyber crime prevention, primarily to close whatever loopholes can be identified in the countless IT systems.

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