A new set of cyber security guidelines has been launched for the shipping industry, the first such guidelines designed to assist global firms to tackle potential cyber attacks.
Launched by Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) along with other shipping associations such as CLIA, ICS, Intercargo and Intertanko and other stakeholders, the guidelines will assist shipping industries to avert major safety, environmental and commercial risk that can culminate to a potential cyber security attack onboard the ship.
BIMCO security general Angus Frew said: "The aim is to provide the shipping industry with clear and comprehensive information on cyber security risks to ships enabling ship-owners to take measures to protect against attacks and to deal with the eventuality of cyber incidents.
"The guidelines launched today should help companies take a risk-based approach to cyber security that is specific to their business and the ships they operate."
According to the guideline draft, the increased usage of internet to ensure connectivity between the ship and the services offered at the shore make the onboard systems vulnerable to cyber security threats.
Additionally, the system can either be hacked by introducing malware aimed at acquiring sensitive commercial information, from an email with detailed ship itineraries sent to unknown people, to the full-scale subversion of a company’s shore-based IT system, or the potential compromising of systems on board ships.
Personnel may be tricked into divulging confidential information to the potential hackers.
In order to take control of such potential threats, the shipping industries are urged to determine the criticality of the onboard systems that is connected to an uncontrolled network and subsequently initiate risk-based measures, specific to their business.
BIMCO seeks to incorporate an array of measures into the onboard systems which include, the cargo management systems, bridge systems, propulsion and machinery management and power control systems, access control systems, passenger servicing and management systems, passenger facing public networks, administrative and crew welfare systems and communication systems.
Keeping in view, the changing trend of cyber security threats, BIMCO and other shipping associations vow to review the guidelines on a regular basis, to equip the maritime enterprises with updated information to combat cyber attacks.