While IMO’s 2021 cyber risk management code provides a framework for cyber resilience, there is more to combating cyber attacks than compliance alone. That’s the take away from a new report just released by mobile satellite communications giant Inmarsat. Compiled by maritime innovation consultancy Thetius, the report, Beyond Compliance – Cyber Risk Management After IMO 2021, encourages proactivity in preventing and mitigating the impact of cyber-attacks.
“Assuring data resilience and cyber security are key preoccupations for the shipping industry,” said Ben Palmer, president, Inmarsat Maritime. “The IMO guidelines on maritime cyber risk management have helped stakeholders to address cyber threats, but the nature of digital attacks continues to evolve due to advances in computing technology and developing geopolitical conflicts.. Over the 12 months between May 2020 and May 2021, cyberattacks targeting the maritime sector increased by 168% in the Asia-Pacific region alone. To ensure the resilience of their digital infrastructure, shipping companies need to look beyond regulatory compliance and be more proactive in their approach to cyber-risk management.”
One cornerstone of this approach is Unified Threat Management (UTM). By combining solutions such as firewalls, antivirus programs, content filters, and intrusion and detection systems into a single hardware and software package, Inmarsat’s Fleet Secure UTM solution streamlines the installation, configuration, administration, and maintenance of network security infrastructure.
One shipping company using Fleet Secure to raise security standards beyond regulatory compliance is Danish-based Evergas.
“Regulations provide a good starting point, but it is important from our perspective to go above and beyond the guidelines, and Inmarsat’s comprehensive Fleet Secure solution facilitates a proactive approach to network security,” says Evergas IT manager Poul Rævdal. “Being able to unify the separate parts of our network security into a single solution and deal primarily with one supplier allows our IT team to focus on optimizing the day-to-day support given to our ships and systems.”
Continuous development in seafarer training is another key bulwark in shipping’s cyber security defenses. Inmarsat says that its Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness training program contains everything the crew needs to know to be aware of vulnerabilities and suspicious online behavior. With best practice guidance this training module is offered free to all Fleet Secure Endpoint users.
Download the cyber risk management report HERE