HFW links up with maritime cybersecurity team

The partnership will complement the firm’s consulting arm and add to its shipping practice

HFW links up with maritime cybersecurity team

HFW has partnered with maritime cybersecurity company CyberOwl in a move to bolster its shipping practice.

The team-up will enable both organisations to offer “comprehensive technology and legal services to the shipping industry around cyber risk management and compliance,” the firm said in a press release on Monday.

“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,” global shipping head Paul Dean said. “We're looking forward to working with CyberOwl to help our clients navigate this increasingly complex and important area.”

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Under the partnership, HFW’s shipping team and CyberOwl’s data and security group will collaborate to assist clients in the maritime sector with blocking and defending against commercial, legal, technical and operational risks. The teams will review vessel cybersecurity seaworthiness and track cybersecurity.

Dean pointed out that traditional cybersecurity systems have not been designed to address the shipping industry’s specific technical, operational and commercial challenges, including “the need to demonstrate due diligence in ensuring seaworthiness and cargoworthiness to minimise disagreements around liabilities in the unfortunate event of a cyber attack.” CyberOwl’s security experts, however, shared “the deep shipping industry expertise on which we pride ourselves at HFW,” he explained.

The partnership will also complement the firm’s consulting arm, HFW Consulting, in terms of offering cybersecurity advice.

“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,” HFW consulting director Chris O'Callaghan said. “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.”

CyberOwl CEO Daniel Ng said that teaming up with HFW would allow the companies to combine “first-rate” legal and tech services.

“Working with HFW – the world's leading shipping law firm – means we're able to provide clients with a broader offering,” he explained. “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.”


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