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

HFW’s market-leading 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 cyber security seaworthiness, cyber security monitoring, and related legal and consulting advice.

This 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:

“Cyber security 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 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.

“We’re looking forward to working with CyberOwl to help our clients navigate this increasingly complex and important area.

Daniel Ng, CEO, CyberOwl:

“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 cyber security 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 cargoworthiness.

“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.

HFW Consulting works with clients around the world to help them develop their business, enhance their people and protect against risk. The firm’s global team of consultants, lawyers and risk specialists have more than 25 years’ experience supporting clients across our core sectors: Aerospace; Commodities; Construction; Energy; Insurance and Shipping. HFW Consulting’s services include organisational development, training programme design and delivery, talent management, assessment process design, cyber security, legal strategies, executive coaching, team building, risk, benchmarking, public relations and reputation management.

Chris O’Callaghan, Director, HFW Consulting:

“Cyber security 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.”

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