ABB and DNV GL mark cybersecurity milestone

Written by Nick Blenkey
DNV beefs up cybersecurity


ABB’s solutions on board a large passenger ship have been awarded cybersecurity verification from classification society DNV GL, making the ship the first to achieve system compliance under DNV GL’s framework for integrated cybersecurity.

The vessel is powered by an ABB Azipod electric propulsion system and is connected to ABB Ability Collaborative Operation Centers worldwide, where ABB experts monitor operational shipboard systems, coordinate remote equipment diagnostics and offer predictive maintenance services.

The vessel’s state-of-the-art cybersecurity resilience was enabled by close collaboration of ABB, the shipowner and DNV GL during the construction phase at a European shipyard. Cybersecurity management processes will continue during the ship’s operations, with the system’s resilience maintained throughout the lifetime of the vessel.

“It is vital that the maritime industry focuses on cybersecurity as an essential part of both design and operation,” said Johann Melsted, Area Manager Benelux & France for DNV GL. “Which is why we are so pleased to be working with forward looking partners, who are prepared to engage with this emerging risk and demonstrate their commitment to tackling cyber threats.”

In order to achieve sustainable shipping, vessels are increasingly fitted with integrated automation systems and digital solutions. As vessel’s systems become more connected than ever before, they present threat vectors previously unheard of in shipping. This is driving the need for closer and earlier collaboration on cybersecurity between all key stakeholders in the newbuilding process. DNV GL’s Integrated Cyber Security Dependent Systems verification establishes a framework to address cybersecurity levels for the main functions of a vessel – both during construction and in operation.

While the framework is applicable to any vessel, greater sophistication and deeper integration of operational technology systems in complex vessels such as cruise ships mean that appropriate cybersecurity management is paramount. While digitalization offers opportunities to measure and manage efficiencies across the entire fleet, securing these data streams is critical to the safety of the vessels’ passengers and crew.

“ABB recognizes the importance of cybersecurity in the marine industry and is working closely with shipowners, yards and classification societies to enhance cyber resilience of ships,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports.

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