HFW's shipping 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 cybersecurity seaworthiness, cybersecurity monitoring, and related legal and consulting advice.
This will complement HFW's existing cybersecurity advice to clients as part of its standalone consulting business, HFW Consulting.
Paul Dean, global head of shipping, HFW said: "Cybersecurity is a growing concern for the global shipping industry, with the continued move towards digitalisation creating new vulnerabilities and IMO 2021 introducing a regulatory requirement for owners to demonstrate that cyber policies are effectively implemented.
"The reality is that traditional cybersecurity 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.
"We're looking forward to working with CyberOwl to help our clients navigate this increasingly complex and important area."
Daniel Ng, CEO, CyberOwl commented: "At CyberOwl, we are on a mission to leverage data and analytics to shift shipping organisations towards a more active cyber posture, and help them evidence their cybersecurity controls are actually working. We have 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 cargo worthiness.
"When we spoke to shipping organisations to get their thoughts on us partnering with a law firm, one name kept on being recommended: HFW. 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."
HFW's global shipping team comprises 200 specialist lawyers and master mariners across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, advising clients on the full range of dry shipping, admiralty and crisis management, and transactional matters.
Chris O'Callaghan, director, HFW Consulting said: "Cybersecurity is becoming an increasing focus and priority for boards around the world. In these times of unprecedented change, organisations are realising that the previous ways of working are no longer fit for purpose, and are having to adapt with agility and at pace, to remain competitive and relevant in this evolving commercial landscape.
"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."