HFW And CyberOwl ally to help shipping industry manage cyber-risk

Shipping-focused law firm HFW and maritime cyber security company CyberOwl have joined forces to provide technology and legal services to the shipping industry around cyber-risk management and compliance.

HFW’s lawyers and CyberOwl’s team of data and security experts will work together to help the maritime sector prevent and actively defend against commercial, legal, technical and operational risks, including reviews of vessel cyber security seaworthiness, cyber security monitoring, and related legal and consulting advice, HFW said this week.

The alliance will complement HFW’s existing cyber-security advice to clients as part of its standalone consulting business, HFW Consulting.

Paul Dean, Global Head of Shipping, HFW said that cyber-security was a growing concern for the global shipping industry, “with a continued move towards digitalization creating new vulnerabilities and IMO 2021 introducing a regulatory requirement for owners to demonstrate that cyber policies are effectively implemented.”

Dean said that “the reality is that traditional cyber security systems are not designed to overcome the unique technical, operational and commercial challenges of shipping, such as the need to demonstrate due diligence in ensuring seaworthiness and cargoworthiness to minimise disagreements around liabilities in the unfortunate event of a cyber-attack. We have therefore partnered with CyberOwl, whose security experts share the deep shipping industry expertise on which we pride ourselves at HFW.”

Daniel Ng, CEO, CyberOwl said that the company had “engaged with around 100 vessel owners and managers to understand their challenges – they have expressed a real lack of confidence that the steps they have taken to comply with IMO 2021 actually helps them defend themselves technically, operationally, commercially and legally in the eventuality of a cyber-attack, and to prove that due diligence was exercised to ensure vessel seaworthiness and cargoworthiness.”

He added that “working with HFW – the world’s leading shipping law firm – means we’re able to provide clients with a broader offering combining first-rate legal and technology services. We see this as being a unique proposition – other cyber services providers are mainly focused on IMO 2021 compliance, whereas we are able to help the industry actively manage and mitigate their cyber risks.”

Chris O’Callaghan, Director, HFW Consulting, said that “our partnership with CyberOwl is a significant development to our global consulting offering, and I look forward to working with their team to help our clients consider their tactics and approaches to mitigating the impacts posed by cyber risks.”