ABS issues guidance note on cyber security

FEBRUARY 4, 2016 – Classification society ABS has published Guidance Notes on the Application of Cybersecurity Principles to Marine and Offshore Operations.

The guidance note is the first volume in the ABS CyberSafety series, and provides best practices for cybersecurity as a foundational element of overall safety and security within and across the marine and offshore industries.

ABS says its CyberSafety series is the industries' first risk-based management program for asset owners to apply best practice approaches to four key cyber areas: cybersecurity, automated systems safety, data management and software assurance. ABS CyberSafety defines a scalable approach that can be applied to a single component up to a multi-system suite of assets. The program also can be used with industry regulatory mechanisms within or external to the marine and offshore industries to achieve sustainable, measurable and secure asset condition.

"Safety and protection are fundamental to ABS, and the Cybersecurity Guidance Note is the first step toward developing a holistic and sustainable cybersecurity strategy," says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "As automation has permeated vessel and onshore systems, it is more critical than ever that we provide the most comprehensive guidance to help asset owners, vendors, operators, crews and regulators develop a sustainable and measurable methodology for approaching cybersecurity and cyber-related safety concerns."

"The ABS CyberSafety program provides a novel approach to address cyber-enabled systems protection in an extended set of engineering processes that emphasizes human and systems safety," says ABS Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Howard Fireman. "Asset owners will be able to organize security requirements, tasks and activities by prioritizing cyber-related work efforts based on what their organization can support and maintain, rather than as a checklist of controls."

The ABS CyberSafety series includes guidance notes, guides with optional notations, advisory notes, and related publications.

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