Adaptive maritime cyber-risk assessment

Custom expert-guided risk assessment using new dynamic-risk software and unique maritime vulnerability datasets.  The maritime sector is affected by more than just IT, which is why MaCRA® examines the whole cyber-physical picture, and dynamically adapts to changes in the environment for ports, ships, and offshore structures.  All to promote safe and secure shipping in a digital age

MaCRA®, Maritime Cyber Risk Assessment framework, is a unique solution for maritime cyber risk assessment.

It dynamically responds to changes made within an asset’s systems.  For example, for ships it examines threats associated with voyage-specific route and cargo contexts to provide real-time, operation-specific cyber risk assessment. MaCRA is a unique and valuable toolkit which also addresses the International Maritime Organization’s 2021 guidance requiring ship operators to systematically address cyber security.

In 2021, MaCRA was awarded the Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize and won the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) ‘Cyber Den’ competition. The project has also secured funding to drive the technical development of commercial tooling from MarRI-UK.

These developments build on initial support from the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s CyberASAP academic cyber-security start-up accelerator programme. The beta version of MaCRA’s software tooling is now being used in-house for scalable assessments as of 2022.

We are keen to collaborate with additional shipping operators, insurers and specialist consultancies to share early insight into the development, and we are open to conversations with investors interested in working with us on the commercialisation of this opportunity.

MaCRA’s adaptive risk assessment ability is built around the insight that shipping’s myriad cyber risks are amenable to predictive modelling and mitigation through systematic analysis of vessel-type, on-board IT and operational technology systems, route and cargo variables. MaCRA dynamically correlates each voyage and fleet’s cyber risk signature with probable attacker motivations.

Riskocity is an expert led consultancy using custom in-house software and unique vulnerbility database as a service.  We provide holistic, sector and operation focused risk assessments for ports, ships, and other maritime assets (like offshore wind farms). Various threat and risk assessment services and dashboards will be available for single ship or entire fleet profiling. The system is underpinned by peer-reviewed research findings from the University of Plymouth Maritime Cyber Threats Research Group published in the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs in 2019.

Translation of MaCRA research into a commercial cyber security solution began with MarRI-UK research initiative

funding to address the urgent need to secure maritime supply chains from burgeoning cyber security threats.

MaCRA research informs the Cyber-MAR project, a European Union-funded initiative developing a maritime sector-specific cybersecurity simulation environment. In January 2021, the University of Plymouth Maritime Cyber Threats Research Group’s new and unique hardware-based Cyber-SHIP Lab began providing MaCRA with real ships’ systems’ cyber vulnerabilities data.

International shipping is vital to world economic wellbeing. However, individual vessels can be in service for 30 years or more with legacy onboard IT and OT systems potentially vulnerable to modern cyber attack, while accelerating maritime industry digitalisation presents cyber attackers with plentiful sabotage opportunities.

MaCRA: CYBERUK 2021 Cyber Den Winners
MarRI-UK Research & Innovation

The MaCRA Team

Dr Kimberly Tam

Chief Scientist

Co-author of MaCRA and Academic Lead. Worked in industry (Hewlett Packard) and USA government labs (Sandia and MIT Lincoln Lab).

Professor Kevin Jones

Chief Executive Officer

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and lead for the Maritime Threats research group. 20 years Silicon Valley experience in research and executive roles, and current Board member for 4 companies including spin-outs

Kevin Forshaw

Commercial Director

More than 25 years’ maritime engagement experience in academia leading to the Research England-supported £3.2m investment in the University’s Cyber-SHIP Laboratory.

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