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Cybersecurity in the Shipping Industry

Everyone should be aware of cyber crime; it is simply an element that comes with the modern digital age. Thieves, hackers, pirates, and other criminals are only expanding into the digital realm. This means that customer information, shipping information, proprietary company information, and more is being stolen everyday by digital criminals. The rate of attempted breaches is only increasing, meaning companies are more at risk than ever. The only thing companies can do is to be prepared for attacks. This guide will take you through various examples of cybersecurity issues and resolutions.


How criminals gain access varies, but it generally involves some sort of fraud or lying, whether it be lying to a person or to a computer. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, fraud is defined as “knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment." There are 2 general types of fraud, according to The Balance:

Fraud of commission, in which someone states a fact that they know is not true "That car has never been in an accident," (knowing that it has been) or

Fraud of omission, in which someone conceals a material (important) fact, as in knowing that a car has been in an accident and not disclosing it.

Methods and Prevention

Common methods used by today’s criminals are phone phishing information out of customers, hacking websites with poor protection for customer details, business email compromise scams, or even a full in-person data breach where your entire company database can be compromised. With so many ways to be attacked, what preventative steps can be taken? There are several tools and tips for protecting your and your customers’ information. PC World lays out some simple methods of beefing up your security:

AVS, or Address Verification System

This security tool checks the numerics in the billing address of the card against the address at which the card is registered.

CVV/CV2, or Card Verification Code:

This is the three/four digit authentication code on the back of credit or debit cards.

3D Secure

This tool is similar to an online version of chip and PIN, where instead of a PIN, a user-generated password is required. It reduces the possibility of fraudulent card use by authenticating the cardholder at the actual time of the transaction. Subsequently, this reduces the business’ exposure to disputed transactions and charge-backs of this type.


Knowing a customer’s location when they order a product helps you in a few ways. If the order is coming from a high-risk country, then you know to flag it as a risk. You can also compare the address registered with the payment method and see if the order or delivery location matches. Double checking the delivery address is also important; if the address is invalid, it will make delivery much harder to figure out.

Tokenized Payment

For a customer, tokenized payment is very simple; they log in to your site and choose the payment method they wish to use, and the transaction proceeds as normal. However, on the business side, things are different. Using a third party software, the shopper’s card information is stored in a secure system and the business is sent a “token” that they store. The token takes the place of card information so the company can avoid storing the payment details where criminals could access it.

Shipping Industry

The shipping industry is slowly changing to autonomous and automated processes, meaning computers are becoming the core of operations. Computers do reduce human error, but they are susceptible to cyber attacks. New tools are launching to help with this issue, as Peter Broadhurst from Inmarsat explains: “Inmarsat will launch its own maritime Unified Threat Management system that will inspect, detect and protect suspicious data being sent from and to the vessel. Owners will get continuous updates, highlighting security compromise causes, and receive intelligence on emerging threats, taking shipping to a mature secure position for the first time.”

Cyber crime is not going anywhere. It will only increase as the digital age continues and expands. Following the suggestions in this guide will help you keep your data safe. Whether you are in the shipping industry or not, these recommendations will serve you well.

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