Student Research

The challenge of cybersecurity in the maritime domain

A capstone project submitted to the faculty of the California Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs.

The security of the maritime industry and the domain it operates within encompasses both physical and digital paradigms. This thesis explores and examines how cyber technology has impacted the maritime domain as a whole and what ramifications could manifest should the cybersecurity of ships, ports, and their critical infrastructure continue to be ignored. Several publications on the subject were digested and reviewed along with interviews and professional experiences to compose a holistic approach to the issue of industry-wide cybersecurity within the maritime realm. Primary discoveries include an alarming lack of cybersecurity throughout the industry and several guidelines and programs designed to help alleviate the issue that are still in the development stage. Overall, the most critical aspect of ensuring maritime cybersecurity was found to be mitigating vulnerabilities through the human factor of the cyber-equation.