A New Raft Of Regulations For Cyber Safety

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The 170 million GT, ‘A’ rated North P&I Club has warned its members to be prepared for a new raft of regulations for cyber security.

Apart from compromising the vessel’s safety, non-compliance will attract a stiff fine too if there is a lack of on-board firewalls and other cyber security measures.  Joe Walsh says so in an article that appeared in the latest issue of the Club’s loss prevention newsletter, Signals.

The safe operation of ships is increasingly dependent on sophisticated electronic systems.  So, these systems have to be properly secured and protected from external risks.  The US Coast Guard’s new cyber strategy (June 2015) is a catalyst for new national and international regulations relating to cyber security on ships.

‘The US Coast Guard considers that safety is linked to the US economic and national security interests. The International Maritime Organization has also now recognised the threat to global maritime safety and commerce.

It is the ship operator’s responsibility to ensure cyber risk prevention.  The strategy calls on owners and operators to establish a reasonably viable cyber risk management programme, including continuous assessment, coordinated planning, investment, benchmarking, training and possibly risk transference such as insurance.’

Like the US Oil Pollution Act 1990 regulating oil risks, the US Coast Guard’s strategy may enforce cyber risks and security to be managed on ships trading to the USA.  Shipowners trading to the USA have to start assessing and mitigating their potential cyber vulnerabilities related to network access and data protection.  Owing to the interconnected nature of modern technology, all shipping company systems that interface with a vessel will also need to be secure.

Source: North P&I

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