IACS Has Adopted New Cyber Security Guidelines

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IACS has steadily increased its focus on the stability and functional efficacy of onboard, safety-critical, computer-based systems, recognising that cyber incidents on boats can have a direct and severe impact on life, property, and the environment as reported by IACS.

Cyber incidents

IACS recognised early on that all parts of the industry needed to be actively involved if ships were to be resilient against cyber incidents, so it convened a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Cyber Systems to help identify best practices, appropriate existing standards in risk and cyber security, and a practical risk-based approach.

Building on this extensive collaboration, and utilising the experience gained from its existing Recommendations, as well as developments at IMO including, in particular, IMO Resolution MSC.428(98) applicable to in-service vessels since the 1st of Jan 2021, IACS has adopted two new IACS Unified Requirements (URs) on the cyber resilience of Ships:

UR E26 aims to ensure the secure integration of both Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) equipment into the vessel’s network during the design, construction, commissioning, and operational life of the ship. This UR targets the ship as a collective entity for cyber resilience and covers five key aspects: equipment identification, protection, attack detection, response, and recovery.

UR E27 aims to ensure system integrity is secured and hardened by third-party equipment suppliers. This UR provides requirements for cyber resilience of onboard systems and equipment and provides additional requirements relating to the interface between users and computer-based systems onboard, as well as product design and development requirements for new devices before their implementation onboard ships.

These URs will be applied to new ships contracted for construction on and after 1 January 2024 although the information contained therein may be applied in the interim as non-mandatory guidance.

“These two URs on cyber safety define minimal goal-based requirements for the cyber resilience of new ships and the cyber security of onboard systems and equipment,” said “IACS Secretary-General Mr Robert Ashdown. These URs are an important milestone in IACS’ work to ensure safer shipping in the face of constantly shifting technical innovations in an increasingly connected and digital marine world.”

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Source: IACS

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