On 15 January 2024, experts from Chapter8, Secura, X-Alert, Scenarios 4 Summits and OrcaGroup came together at the HSD Campus to share their expertise in the field of cyber crisis training with FERM during a market consultation session. These consultation sessions are organised by Security Delta (HSD) for organisations looking to explore their (cyber)security challenges alongside experts.

Rotterdam Port Cyber Resilience

FERM is a non-profit organisation based in Rotterdam. The goal is first and foremost to encourage and nurture collaboration between companies in the port industrial complex of Rotterdam and Moerdijk in order to increase resilience against digital threats – both at the organisational level and throughout the value chain. As part of FERM’s Port-wide Incident Response plan a cyber crisis exercise was carried out in 2023 that included over 50 participants from 20 different organisations. This year, FERM is looking forward to organising a successful follow-up for which an experienced partner is now being sought out by means of a market consultation session facilitated by HSD.

Market Consultation

During the session today, attendees were welcomed by HSD director Joris den Bruinen. Subsequently, the FERM team met with organisations within the HSD ecosystem with experience and expertise in cyber crisis training and exercise within the Rotterdam Port area.

Finding the right partner for the 2024 cyber crisis exercise depends on several factors, most notably the relevant skills and knowledge in the dynamic ecosystem that is the Rotterdam Port Industrial Complex. Which is why participative organisations of the consultation session were tasked with organising a pilot crisis exercise specifically for FERM, as well as introducing a product within the FERM-portfolio that affiliated participants would be able to use within their own incident response teams.

How do you approach incident response exercises for an organisation such as FERM? What’s the best way to deal with public and private collaborations that feature large discrepancies in skill, knowledge, security awareness and incident preparedness? How do you imagine training and ultimately practicing with 30 to 50 companies varying in size and maturity? These and other questions were asked – and answered – during today’s session.

“To provide the best value for the companies in the port area, we aim to collaborate with only best-in-class organisations”, said Evelien Bras. “Usually the companies within FERM’s “board of advice” share their experience and insights, on the basis of which subsequent selections are made. In this specific case however, the best way forward was not clear – which is why we turned to our partner HSD. There is a lot to be gained by approaching solutions from the point of view of market demand, instead of only pushing technology.”

Evelien Bras – director of FERM

Unique opportunities

Today’s collaborative efforts have therefore been quite unique in the world of cyber security and cyber resilience. By approaching HSD as a skilled networking organisation, FERM will be able to partner up with the very best fit for the incident response journey of its participants – which applies to both the upcoming cyber crisis training sessions scheduled in March, April and May as to the concluding cyber crisis exercise to be held in June.

Similarly, the result of today’s exploratory efforts offers a unique opportunity for potential new FERM participants who are looking to improve their cyber resilience as well as their incident response readiness – whatever their maturity level may be.

Whether you’re just getting started with awareness and basis cyber hygiene or are ready to put your cyber resilience and incident response to the test, FERM is your go-to partnership moving forward.

Aim: Cyber Resilience Port of Rotterdam

Within the Port Industrial Complex, companies are highly dependent on each other, while all their processes are interconnected. At the same time, most of them depend on information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) as well. Although this offers great economic opportunities, it creates vulnerabilities too. A cyber-attack on a company in the port will almost certainly have negative consequences for other companies within the port of Rotterdam. As the threat of cybercrime is expected to increase in the future, it is crucial to be prepared. Therefore, FERM is committed to create a cyber resilience port of Rotterdam.

About HSD market consultation sessions

The market consultation sessions aim to contribute to the cyber resilience of organisations in the chain and within sectors and can help organisations with the new security guidelines arising from the NIS2. These sessions are made possible by MRDH, Sectoral Digital Security. Would you like to learn more about the Market Consultation Sessions and how we are able to help you? Read more here.

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