ABS to CMA delegates: Cyber risk won't go away

ABS Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif ABS Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif

MARCH 22, 2017 — "Cyber risk is a subject that is not going away," ABS Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif told delegates at this week's Connecticut Maritime Association Shipping 2017 event in Stamford,CT.

"The main challenge we face is that in our industry not all users of new technology understand the way the software they are using was built, how it operates, what happens when it fails and what mitigation they have," Nassif said. "Now, our ships and assets employ a 'system of systems' approach that combines operational and information technology."

"Looking at the future, we can see that cyber and software risk are overlapping and converging, and as a result, class and industry both have to adapt," he said. "With the expansion of the regulatory environment, class is widening its remit to include verification of compliance with regulations and new topics such as cyber security."

To meet the cybersecurity challenge, ABS has developed ABS CyberSafety, a modular and measurable process that can evolve over time as threats and technologies emerge.

Describing the ABS approach to cybersecurity, Nassif said, "ABS CyberSafety brings together traditional IT and Operational Technology, moving from a set of basic procedures covering corporate organization and governance to a detailed capability and task-assessment cycle. Looking at it this way enables us to understand assets, gaps and vulnerabilities, develop a risk profile and execute a project plan with asset owners."

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