Industry publishes updated cyber guidelines for vessels

Maritime Cyber Security admin today9 December 2020


The updated guidance aims to improve the safety and security of seafarers, the environment, the cargo, and the ships and assist in the development of a proper cyber risk management strategy.

Specifically, the guidelines aim to assist in the development of a proper cyber risk management strategy in accordance with relevant regulations and best practises on board a ship with a focus on work processes, equipment, training, incident response and recovery management.

The fourth version takes into consideration the threat as the product of capability, opportunity, and intent, and explains the likelihood of a cyber incident as the product of vulnerability and threat. Thus, the improved risk model offers explanation as to why still relatively few safety-related incidents have unfolded in the maritime industry, but also why this should not be misinterpreted and make shipping companies lower their guard.

The report includes information on why and how cyber risks should be managed in a shipping context. The supporting documentation required to conduct a risk assessment is listed and the risk assessment process is outlined with an explanation of the part played by each component of cyber risk. This publication highlights the importance of evaluating the likelihood and threat in addition to the impact and vulnerabilities when conducting a cyber risk assessment.

Dirk Fry, chair of BIMCO’s cyber security working group and Director of Columbia Ship Management Ltd., commented that

Cyber security is an arms race between the attackers and the defenders, where the attacker has the luxury of first choice of weapon. Because we can never be 100% secure in such circumstances, we must extract all the learnings we can from past events. We should be capable of quickly recovering from incidents because we know they will most likely occur at some point. Drawing on the most recent experiences from the industry and beyond, the new version of the guidelines will help us achieve just that.

Concluding, the organizations that participated to the production of the fourth edition are BIMCO, Chamber of Shipping of America, Digital Containership Association, International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), Interferry, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), INTERMANAGER, International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Marine Contractors’ Association (IMCA), International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), Superyacht Builders Association (Sybass), and World Shipping Council (WSC).

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