CyberOwl, a cybersecurity company that safeguards maritime assets from cyber attacks, welcomes two distinguished shipping technology and innovation veterans to its Strategic Advisory Board. Nakul Malhotra and Rod Steel will join the board as trusted advisors to shape and guide the go-to-market strategies of CyberOwl, working closely with the leadership team. 

Both advisors bring considerable experience in the fields of commercial strategy, technology and innovation in the maritime industry:


  • Nakul Malhotra, Vice President Open Innovation, Wilhelmsen – Nakul is deeply engaged in the ongoing digital transformation of Wilhelmsen and the wider maritime sector. Nakul brings over 25 years’ experience in the maritime sector including leadership positions in sales, operations, marine engineering and product management. A recognised thought leader in maritime innovation, he sits on the Corporate Committee for Investments of Motion Ventures, an investment fund supporting tech innovation for the maritime industry, and a Singapore Government Appointed Investment Partner.


  • Rod Steel, Global Head of IT, The China Navigation Company – Rod leads the strategic direction for IT at China Navigation. Having held a number of Head of IT roles during his 30+ years’ experience, including at Wallem Group and Bengal Tiger, he has been leading technology strategy, operations and transformation at organisations across the maritime value chain, with recent in-region experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and the wider Asia Pacific region.


Daniel Ng, CEO of CyberOwl, said ”We have made it our mission to ensure the progress of innovation in shipping isn’t hampered by cyber risks. It is important that we do this in a way that both disrupts but respects the sector and all its quirks. This is where Nakul and Rod’s decades of experience can add real horsepower. The CyberOwl team has already benefited greatly from Nakul and Rod’s strategic challenge, insightful analysis, practical advice and networks. We’re really looking forward to working closely with them over the coming months and years.

After decades of maintaining analogue and traditional ways of working, the maritime sector is coming alive to the benefits and urgency for digital innovation in order to achieve its ambitions for remote support, decarbonisation and cost efficiency. To catch up, the sector is attempting to leapfrog multiple evolutionary cycles of digital maturity, where other sectors have had the time to learn and iterate. This gives rise to escalating cybersecurity risks to shipboard systems, a trend that the CyberOwl team have been experiencing on the front line. 


CyberOwl currently identifies 30-40 incidents on average per month across the fleets it works with – equivalent to 1 new cyber incident every day. 


CyberOwl’s Medulla, is a cyber security monitoring proposition optimised for the maritime sector. Medulla helps fleet operators know what they have onboard, keep it secure and prove they have secured it. Medulla provides assurance of the accuracy of the inventory of shipboard assets and networks, raises early warning of cyber risks, provides clear recommended actions in “plain English” and continuously monitors for non-compliance with vessel cyber security policies. Fleet operators also use Medulla’s reporting functionality to prove to auditors that they are taking cyber risk management of their onboard systems seriously, as required under IMO 2021.

In the short time that CyberOwl took on the challenge of shaking up the maritime sector’s approach to cyber security, it is already establishing itself as an emerging thought leader. The team continues to find innovative ways to raise awareness, support the sector and continuously improve its propositions. This includes launching a “Stop talking, Start doing” campaign that brings together a trusted network of maritime IT managers and risk professionals for confidential knowledge-sharing and providing free tools to fleet operators to improve their cybersecurity posture.

Nakul Malhotra, Vice President Open Innovation, Wilhelmsen Group said ”As the maritime industry plots transformation pathways to a digital future every critical path will need to embrace a robust cyber security strategy. I am excited to be able to help CyberOwl navigate their next growth phase in this exciting environment.”  

Rod Steel, Global Head of IT, The China Navigation Company said ”CyberOwl brings an innovative approach to the cyber security space with their focus on compliance measurement and reporting, rather than just providing another cyber security product. I think CyberOwl have a clear vision of where we should be going with cyber security in the maritime industry.”