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C$1.7M partnership to commercialise cybersecurity developments

Neptune Cyber and Davie Shipbuilding have launched a C$1.7million, five-year R&D partnership with Polytechnique Montréal to commercialise cybersecurity developments for critical maritime infrastructure.

The combination of Neptune Cyber, maritime cybersecurity specialists, Davie Shipbuilding, Canada's biggest shipbuilder, and Polytechnique Montréal, one of Canada's largest engineering teaching and research institutions, will produce practical solutions to real-world problems.

The acceleration of digitisation, automation and hyperconnectivity in the maritime domain has created new challenges for transport, cargo and naval ships as well as ports. All have become new targets for cyber criminals.

Remotely taking control of a navigation system, deficient geolocalisation of a ship, hacking of communications systems, computer viruses and ransomware are just some of the attacks that could affect electronic and computer systems used in the management of maritime and port operations.

Since the beginning of the year the International Maritime Organization has required shipowners and operators to integrate the management of cyber risks in their security practices at the next annual validation of their IMO certification. It is the first regulatory framework on cybersecurity in the maritime industry.

At the heart of this unique partnership are two highly experienced researchers from Polytechnique Montréal renowned for their research in the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure, cyber resilience and cyber defence - Prof Nora Cuppens and Prof José M. Fernandez.

Gwilym Lewis, Neptune Cyber CEO/PDG, said: "There is an urgent need for a better way to be able to understand, model, and plan for the risks that the maritime industry is facing now and into the future. This project is a great step in that direction and a demonstration of our long-term commitment to creating positive change."

For the project Neptune Cyber and Davie will contribute C$1.7million, of which C$500,000 will be in cash and C$1.2million in support and equipment for the duration of the project. 

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