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Shipping industry takes steps to tackle cyber security concerns

World Cement,

The Round Table (RT) of international shipping associations, which is made up of BIMCO, ICS, Intercargo and INTERTANKO, has announced that it is developing standards and guidelines to address cyber security issues affecting the shipping industry.

According to BIMCO, cyber security has been a growing area of concern for the shipping sector, and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has received calls for action from the industry. On modern ships, all major systems are controlled and monitored by software, such as the main engine, navigation systems, cargo handling equipment, etc., so protection from cyber threats can be complex.

The RT is collaborating with industry partners on a range of projects to address the issue. This comprises the development of guidance for ship operators and owners, including how to:

  • Minimise the risk of a cyber-attack through user access management.
  • Protect onboard systems.
  • Develop contingency plans.
  • Manage incidents if they do occur.

RT has made a submission to the IMO that outlines the steps taken by the sector to address cyber security concerns. Through BIMCO, the RT and Comité International Radio-Maritime are also developing a standard for the maintenance and update of programmable electronic systems. As many of these initiatives to address the issue are related, participating organisations and industry partners are working together to ensure that there is coordination between programmes.

“The Round Table representing the global shipping industry is taking cyber security seriously,” said Angus Frew, Secretary General of BIMCO. “The standards under development are intended to enable equipment manufacturers, service personnel, yards, owners and operators, as well as crew, to ensure their shipboard computer-based systems are managed securely – and kept up-to-date to protect against the ever-growing threat from exploitation by criminals.”

Adapted from press release by

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