Maritime Industry Filing Buzz: 23% Decline in Cybersecurity Mentions in Q4 2021

Mentions of cybersecurity in maritime industry company filings fell 23% between the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of cybersecurity-related convictions in 2021 was 196% higher than in 2016, when GlobalData, from which our data comes from for this article, began tracking the top issues mentioned in company filings.

When companies in the maritime industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other documents, GlobalData analyzes the text and identifies individual phrases related to the disruptive forces the companies will face in the years to come. Cybersecurity is one such topic – companies that excel and invest in these areas are seen as better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to weather unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether cybersecurity features more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the maritime sector, two measures were calculated. First, we looked at the percentage of companies that mentioned cybersecurity at least once in their statements over the last twelve months – it was 73% compared to 61% in 2016. Second, we calculated the percentage of total sentences analyzed that referred to cybersecurity.

Among the 10 largest employers in the maritime industry, RCL is the company that made the most cybersecurity references in 2021. GlobalData identified 61 cybersecurity-related convictions in the US-based company’s records , or 0.7% of all convictions. Post Italiane mentioned cybersecurity in second place – the issue was mentioned in 0.4% of sentences in company filings. Other top employers with high cybersecurity mentions include UAL, Royal Mail and FedEx.

Of all the companies in the shipping industry, the Q4 2021 filing that placed the most emphasis on cybersecurity came from Uber. Of the 1,306 sentences in the document, 31 (2.4%) referred to cybersecurity.

This analysis provides a rough indication of which companies are focusing on cybersecurity and the importance of the issue in the maritime industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted with caution. For example, a company that mentions cybersecurity more regularly is not necessarily evidence that it is using new techniques or prioritizing the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company’s businesses in the field of cybersecurity have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorizes cybersecurity mentions according to a series of subtopics. Of these subtopics, the most frequently mentioned topic in Q4 2021 was “data security,” which accounted for 73% of all cybersecurity subtopic mentions by maritime businesses.

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