EXPERTS in the field of cyber security have gathered in Melbourne to establish the Port Cyber Security Forum.

Port of Melbourne invited port operators to a meeting to establish the forum, acknowledging their shared interest in cyber security.

More than 20 organisations attended.

Speakers included Craig Searle, the co-founder of Australian cyber security consultancy Hivint, and Mark Grubey, Port of Melbourne information security manager.

“Companies and organisations attempting to mitigate the increasing cyber security threat in isolation are far less effective than operating with other like-minded organisations,” said port CEO Brendan Bourke.


“The formation of the Port Cyber Security Forum is recognition by those who attended that a proactive approach to cyber security is more effective than coming together after a cyber security attack occurs.

“The Port Cyber Security Forum will focus on a whole of business approach to information security and the associated risks.”

Key topics discussed included:

  • Exploring cyber security risks across the maritime industry
  • Increasing awareness of future technology trends and impacts across the maritime industry
  • Evaluation of potential regulatory and compliance requirements
  • Examination of prior cyberattacks, incidents and lessons learnt.

Craig Searle’s threat intelligence briefing began with a review of the threat landscape – who the attackers are and their motivation

The event occurred within days of a cyber incident at Toll Group.

Other examples of cyberattacks include:

Coin mining – using a victim company’s servers to mine bitcoins:

  • Ransomware – e.g. attack on Victorian health system and Maersk
  • Well-known examples of maritime cyberattacks include the Maersk cyber attack in 2017, when Maersk announced it had been hit by NotPetya ransomware.
  • Maersk estimates the cost of the cyberattack at up to $300m USD

Mark Grubey talked about how within organisations, what used to be seen as an IT problem is now recognised as a business risk affecting the whole organisation. The next meeting of the Port Cyber Security Forum is at the Joint Cybersecurity Centre in Melbourne in May.