Cyber security essential to combat risks on board ship systems, says DNV GL


Tor Svensen

Classification society DNV GL Group executive vice-president Tor E. Svensen has proposed the need for an increased focus on cyber security to combat current and emerging risks on board ship systems.

Speaking at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) conference in Berlin, Svensen noted that the use of sensors and software-driven systems improve efficiency and transparency but also pose significant challenges.

Svensen said: "A greater focus on cyber security is essential to combat the risk of criminals exploiting already existing vulnerabilities."

The programmable components that are connected, including machinery, navigation or communication systems, are vulnerable to potential cyber-attack.

In addition, software-related issues due to simple error, malfunction or breakdown can be a threat to the total system integrity.

DNV GL at the conference suggested a risk-based approach to reduce cyber threats, with a tiered approach of third-party assessments, audits, testing and verification.

"It is worrying to see that despite all the modern equipment on board, human error is on the rise and is now responsible for over 50% of all claims."

Svensen advised the industry stakeholders to work together, sharing information on accidents in order to learn and to progress.

Svensen added: "It is worrying to see that despite all the modern equipment on board, human error is on the rise and is now responsible for over 50% of all claims."

In addition, DNV GL Maritime Fleet in Service vice-president Matthias Galle highlighted the importance of correct lashing and stowage procedures, along with function testing of equipment.

The conference was attended by some 700 maritime stakeholders, including representatives from the insurance industry, ship-owners, salvors and classification societies.


Image: Tor E. Svensen, DNV GL Group executive vice-president, speaks at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) conference in Berlin. Photo: courtesy of DNV GL.