06 Jul 2021

HFW teams up with maritime cybersecurity business CyberOwl

Partnership will help shipping companies improve cybersecurity compliance

Bird's eye image of a cargo ship in the ocean

HFW is joining forces with shipping-focused cybersecurity business CyberOwl to help the maritime industry better manage cyber risk and compliance.

The tie-up will combine HFW’s shipping lawyers and London-based CyberOwl’s data and security experts to help shipping companies review and monitor their cyber defences, as well as provide related legal and consulting advice. The partnership will complement HFW’s existing consulting business, HFW Consulting.

Paul Dean, global head of shipping, said: “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.”

Dean says traditional cybersecurity systems are not designed for the maritime industry, for instance the need to demonstrate due diligence in ensuring 'seaworthiness and cargoworthiness' to minimise disagreements about liabilities in the event of a cyberattack.

Daniel Ng, CEO of CyberOwl, says his company is leveraging data and analytics to help shipping companies improve cyber risk management and demonstrate that their cybersecurity controls are effective.

Ng said: “When we spoke to shipping organisations to get their thoughts on us partnering with a law firm, one name kept on being recommended: HFW. Working with HFW… means we’re able to provide clients with a broader offering combining first-rate legal and technology services. 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.”

HFW’s global shipping team has roughly 200 specialist lawyers and Master Mariners in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, advising on matters ranging from dry shipping and admiralty to crisis management and transactions. HFW Consulting works with clients across industries to provide business support and protect against various operational risks.

Chris O’Callaghan, director of HFW Consulting, 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.”

In other shipping news, Deloitte Legal’s Italian arm announced in May it had acquired maritime law boutique Munari Giudici Maniglio Panfili in the northern port city of Genoa. The deal saw 20 lawyers — including four partners — move to Deloitte Legal to create a new department of maritime and transport law with Francesco Munari, partner and co-founder of the Italian firm, at the helm. 

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