The Defense Industries faces The Cyber Threat


Bessé is the French leader in insurance consulting for risks in the defense industries, as such the company will attend the 2019 Pacific Sydney conference.

With a vast coastline and a strategic position in the Indo-Pacific basin, Australia has based its economy on the maritime industry. It is today the third largest force in the maritime transport field and has one of the most powerful fleets.

Thus, Australia will host on the 8th and the 10th of October, the 2019 Pacific Sydney international conference, bringing together the world’s leading manufacturers in the naval defense industry.

Bessé is aware of the changes and challenges the defense industry faces – such as the cyber threat- and now makes it possible to make the insurance market amortise the risks in order to respond efficiently to national security issues.

Bessé, French expert of the Australian Defense Industries

Pacific Sydney brings together the world’s leading weapon manufacturers, among which many French companies that Besse will accompany (Naval Group, Thales, Alstom, Areva, Boyugues SA, Suez…). These companies have managed to establish themselves in the Pacific zone defense industry, especially in the naval field.

Thanks to a real expertise in the Australian defense market, Bessé is able to advise its clients in both the design of the hedging plan for their risks, and the negotiation of their insurance contracts legal conditions, in the strictest respect of local regulatory constraints. This includes for instance shipbuilding and maintenance contracts on behalf of the Australian Navy.

Bessé will continue to be involved locally in these projects by deploying a team of engineers and technicians on site. In addition to providing a true expertise of the Australian defense market, Bessé supports all its customers in managing one of the most worrying risks the defense industry faces today: cyber risk …

Maritime cybersecurity, a strategic issue

The maritime industry is digitizing and automating itself, and now that it has entered the hyper-connection era, it is more than exposed to cyberattacks. The consequences of hacking are extremely complex, and often of great magnitude as evidenced by the recent cyber-attacks that shaken down the naval field: the port of Antwerp attack, or more recently the Notpetya attack, which resulted in a loss of nearly 300 million dollars for the Danish transport company Maersk.

Measures are thus emerging to allow all parties in the Defense industrial chain to organize and structure themselves around a set of rules and good digital hygiene practices. Several European regulations and international guidelines from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have been published to supervise ships industrial systems from their conception, in order to evaluate in the long run their information systems level of security, to manage the technological tools, to train the personnel … IMO also encourages industries and administrations to enforce appropriate cyber risk management measures internally, and plans to launch no later than January 1 2021, a first annual compliance certificates verification. All of which contributes to creating a regulatory framework that strengthen Australia’s maritime industry’s cyber security.

“Beyond the enforcement of good practices and field management, reducing cyber risk can only be achieved by conducting regular internal audits that measure one’s exposure to the risk. It allows checking the entire system and the ship’s actual cybersecurity level. This kind of verifications must also apply to external stakeholders. Establishing clear procedures is essential and should become the norm in the near future … “ says Frédéric Jousse, Director of Bessé International.

Acting upstream on the security of networks and infrastructures is essential but insufficient. It is indeed crucial that defense industries be able to cope with all the consequences of a cyber-attack … It is a matter of national security. As such, cyber insurance plays a major and indispensable role.

Cyber insurance as a solution

In the face of a risk whose probability of occurrence is very difficult to grasp, and whose consequences cannot be measured quantitatively, the only way for companies to minimize their impact is to smooth the financial risk transferring it to the insurance market.

Cyber risk insurance allows the rapid intervention of experts who determine the origin of the attack, contain it, and determine the processes to activate in order to ensure computer resources availability and critical activities continuity.

This requires a tailored risk approach, the development of specific “cyber” coverage and a relevant choice of insurers. In the continuity of an A to Z support of its customers, Bessé has set up various solutions to help defense industries face this type of disaster.

“We work with our clients daily to guide and accompany strategic crisis management decision-making. We can thus take care of the technical and financial damages, often very heavy: theft of confidential data, loss of exploitation, ship immobilization… We have a real role to play, as well in the compensation of the disaster as in the development of good practices and cyber-resilience … “, adds Pierre Bessé, Président of Bessé.

Bessé committed to cyber-resilience …

Cyber risk can threaten any company’s entire financial stability, and is as such a highly strategic issue.

“It is therefore essential to communicate on its aspects and consequences, by experience sharing and good practices spreading.” adds Pierre Bessé.

Bessé helps to create a space conducive to reflection and collaboration between entities, public and private. The goal is to promote experience sharing between leaders, and spread the required practices in the face of the cyber threat.