US-based ForeScout Technologies has launched a commercial device visibility and control technology to enhance cybersecurity in the maritime industry.

The platform will help maritime operators comply with the precise Operational Technology (OT) security requirements for maritime cybersecurity set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

It is mandatory for maritime operators to follow the IMO’s cyber risk guidelines, which came into effect on 1 January.

The guidelines include IT and OT systems, as well as several tactical preparations and technical controls, such as assessing the impact of a cyber-attack and executing safeguards for bridge, propulsion and cargo handling.

Shipowners and operators may lose access to ports or even face vessel detentions if they fail to address cyber risks as per the IMO regulations.

Forescout chief product officer Kevin O’Leary said: “Modern ships are floating cities with navigation, propulsion, electric power generation, fuel dissemination and water treatment, as well as other networked systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), video surveillance and automated safety controls.

“With these expansive technologies, the damage a cyber incident can cause to critical systems can be far-reaching and difficult to contain due to poor visibility and control of all connected assets.

“Forescout has an established track record in maritime operations and now offers the power of complete operational technology (OT) network visibility and system integration with legacy and new bridge control systems.”

This development comes following an increase in cyber-attacks on OT systems in the industry over the past three years.

Forescout offers comprehensive device visibility and an advanced threat detection system for all marine control networks, along with monitoring applications.

By deploying Forescout eyeInspect, marine operators can mitigate or avoid operational problems before they face any potential danger.