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November 19, 2021updated 25 Jan 2022 3:51pm

Filings buzz: tracking cybersecurity mentions in the maritime industry

We have analysed the mentions of cybersecurity using data from GlobalData.

By Emil Filipov

Mentions of cybersecurity within the filings of companies in the maritime industry fell 26% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to cybersecurity between July 2020 and June 2021 was 195% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the maritime industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Cybersecurity is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether cybersecurity is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the maritime industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned cybersecurity at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 83% compared to 68% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cybersecurity.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the maritime industry, Uber Technologies Inc was the company which referred to cybersecurity the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 132 cybersecurity-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 0.9% of all sentences. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd mentioned cybersecurity the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.7% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cybersecurity mentions included National Express Group PLC, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp.

Across all companies in the maritime industry the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on cybersecurity came from Uber Technologies Inc. Of the document's 1,237 sentences, 28 (2.3%) referred to cybersecurity.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on cybersecurity and how important the issue is considered within the maritime industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning cybersecurity more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into cybersecurity have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises cybersecurity mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2021 was 'data security', which made up 56% of all cybersecurity subtheme mentions by companies in the maritime industry.

By Andrew Hillman.

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