DNV Aims to Bolster Maritime Cyber Defense with Acquisition of Applied Risk

November 24, 2021

Yachting Journal

Jalal Bouhdada, CEO, Applied Risk, and Liv A. Hovem, CEO of DNV’s Accelerator, a new business area dedicated to rapidly growing new DNV businesses, services and solutions. Image courtesy DNV

DNV will acquire industrial cyber security specialist Applied Risk, aiming to build the world’s largest industrial cyber security practice.

Cyber threats to the maritime community is a large and growing problem, with the maritime industry experiencing a 400% increase in attempted attacks between February and June 2020, according to Naval Dome. As proven by well-publicized examples in recent years, recovery can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and can effectively shutter global operations for extended periods.

In January 2021, the International Maritime Organization introduced new guidelines stating that a ship’s safety management system should account for cyber risk management in compliance with the ISM Code.2 Technology research company Gartner forecasts that cyber criminals will go beyond making attacks for financial gain this decade, and progressively weaponize industrial control systems to cause harm to human life.

“Maritime assets are now at higher risk of new forms of cyber-attacks, as their control systems become increasingly connected. Life, property and the environment are at stake. DNV is investing significantly in helping our customers build a powerful force of defence. By joining forces with Applied Risk, we aim to build an industrial cyber security powerhouse to support the sector in managing these emerging risks,” said Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO, DNV.

Established in 2012, Applied Risk is a thought leader in next generation cyber security solutions in maritime and other industrial sectors. The company’s team of engineering and cyber security professionals headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, have contributed to a wealth of industry standards and led the development of security strategies for national governments. Applied Risk works with a broad client portfolio, including Fortune 500 companies across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  

“We will combine the strengths of Applied Risk and DNV with significant investments in security research and innovation to build and grow a cutting-edge industrial cyber security business that helps our customers outpace new threats posed by cyber criminals,” said Jalal Bouhdada, CEO, Applied Risk.  

Applied Risk and DNV will operate together under the DNV brand. A combined leadership team from both companies will be tasked with scaling a merged cyber security business with ambitions for significant growth by the end of 2025.“Cyber security will play an important role in DNV’s growth story in the coming years,” said Liv A. Hovem, CEO of DNV’s Accelerator, a new business area dedicated to rapidly growing new DNV businesses, services and solutions.