Coastguard participates in NHL Stenden maritime cyber exercise: "To be better prepared"

Kustwacht en Maritime IT Security

Recently the executive and senior operational teams of the Netherlands Coastguard participated in a cyber exercise organized by the professorship Maritime IT Security of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences. In the exercise the participants had to deal with a complex and fast developing state sponsored cyber incident impacting numerous vessels.

Stephen McCombie, professor Maritime IT Security: “The scenario was based on a combination of real incidents. The exercise helped the Coastguard team understand some the peculiar challenges of a cyber-attack and where they can be better prepared in the future.”

Bastiaan Maltha, program manager Maritime Security at the Netherlands Coastguard: “We don’t ask ourselves if a maritime cyber incident will happen on the North Sea, but when it will happen. However, due to the exercise we realized a maritime cyber incident might be even more complex than we previously imagined. Although we are well prepared to handle maritime incidents in general, the specifics of a cyber incident require some additional expertise and tools. With the insights from this exercise, we are better prepared for such an event, and we have a clearer view of where further improvement efforts should focus on.”

The exercise finished with a media conference role play in which the acting director, Edwin van der Pol, gave a brief of the cyber incident and answered questions.


Maritime IT Security

The goal of the Maritime IT Security research group is to conduct impactful research into cyber threats to the Maritime Transportation System (MTS).