Despite the global challenges of Covid-19, the World Maritime University (WMU) continues to contribute to important research projects, including the EU funded Horizon 2020 Cyber-MAR project that focuses on preparing for emerging and future cyber-attacks.
The 1st Plenary Cyber-MAR meeting was scheduled to take place at WMU on 11 and 12 March. However, due to the rapid spread of Covid-19, the Cyber-MAR consortium adapted their working conditions by organizing a virtual plenary meeting on the same dates.
WMU is leading work package 6 (WP6) focused on training and awareness activities. The first Work Package Leaders meeting was held virtually on 16 April to thoroughly discuss the implementation of WP activities and set goals aimed at managing technical and/or scientific team work. The goal remains to ensure the launch of WP6 training in autumn 2020 with courses that cover the training needs for all relevant professionals (ports, shipping operators, etc.). The physical and virtual training sessions will take into account experience, such as level of IT expertise. Regional training opportunities tailored to the local needs (e.g. local languages, awareness levels etc.) will also be offered in the countries of the project partners. The WMU project team will present scientific papers at upcoming conferences, by video conferencing or in person depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, regarding the potential leverage of cybersecurity training in the maritime logistics domain.
The objectives of the 36-month project state: “Cyber-MAR is an effort to fully unlock the value of using cyber range in the maritime logistics value chain via the development of an innovative simulation environment adapting in the peculiarities of the maritime sector, but being at the same time easily applicable in other transport subsectors.” A combination of innovative technologies make up the proposed Cyber-MAR platform which is knowledge-based, as well as a decision support tool for cybersecurity measures utilizing novel risk analysis and econometric models.
In addition to leading WP6, WMU is contributing to the development and validation of econometric models, providing meaningful information and insights for the Cyber-MAR community stakeholders with a focus on insurance companies and governmental bodies.
Cyber-Mar falls under Horizon 2020; secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens, under call SU-DS-2018-2019-2020. Participation in the project supports WMU’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 4 focused on inclusive and equitable quality education for all, as well as Goal 9 focused on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. WMU’s maritime research agenda is further strengthened by contributing to the Cyber-Mar project, in particular the “Maritime Safety and Security”, and “Maritime Energy Management” Research Priority Areas.
WMU Assistant Professor, Dr. Fabio Ballini, is the Principal Investigator for the project. WMU staff contributing to the project include Dr. Aykut I. Ölçer, Professor and Director of Research; Dr. Dimitrios Dalaklis, Associate Professor; Dr. Alessandro Schönborn,Assistant Professor; Dr. Monica Canepa, Project Officer; and Seyed Vahid Vakili, Research Assistant.