A lecturer from the University of Plymouth has won a prestigious international prize for her research in maritime cybersecurity.
Dr. Kimberly Tam’s work won her the overall gong and the cybersecurity category in the 2021 Lloyd’s Science of Risk prize. Tam was among six academics announced as award winners by insurance and reinsurance market Lloyd’s of London on May 21.
The Science of Risk prize is awarded to academics and PhD students who further the understanding of risk and insurance through their scientific research. Runner up in the cybersecurity category was Edward Oughton of George Mason University for his stochastic counterfactual risk analysis for the vulnerability assessment of cyber-physical attacks on electricity distribution infrastructure networks.
Tam’s award-winning research focused on a suite of software tools designed to enhance maritime cybersecurity. In conjunction with the University of Plymouth’s Maritime Cyber Threats Research Group, Tam developed a Maritime Cyber Risk Assessment (MaCRA) framework.
“The principles behind the MaCRA framework were first set out in a study published in the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs in 2019, and co-authored by Dr. Tam and Executive Dean of Science and Engineering, Professor Kevin Jones,” said a spokesperson for the University of Plymouth.
“The paper proposed a dynamic risk assessment model that uniquely takes into account both information technology and operational technology, both of which are prevalent in sectors like transportation and critical national infrastructure.”
Recognizing the value of the software, the Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) initiative awarded the University a grant to develop it as an industry-ready solution.
“Receiving the overall 2021 Lloyd’s Science of Risk prize is a big honor. It shows there is real appreciation of the growing threat of cybercrime, and the importance of addressing the challenges it could pose for the globally important maritime sector,” said Tam.
“My paper looks at ways the physical and cyber worlds affect each other, and how shifting our concept of risk to be more dynamic can be a useful tool moving forward in a more connected world.”
Just over a week ago, Tam’s software won the Cyber Den competition run as part of the UK government’s flagship cybersecurity event, CYBERUK.