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North P&I publishes cyber briefing

The North P&I Club in the UK has set out the growing range of cyber risks now facing shipowners in a new loss prevention briefing entitled ‘Cyber Risks and Shipping’, which highlights the need for mitigation measures to be taken by shipowners against cyber attacks.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}“When we talk of cyber risks we mean any accident, incident, financial loss, business disruption or reputational damage which arises through the failure of electronic systems or through their manipulation. The risks of on-board electronic equipment failure are generally well known in the shipping industry, but unauthorised access or malicious attacks are relatively new threats,” said North’s loss prevention director Tony Baker.

“The rules generally require members to show they have taken all reasonable measures to prevent losses and liabilities arising. Given the increasing use of technology on board and the potential impact of cyber risks on vessel operations, a proper cyber security policy should now be a key feature of an owner’s risk management programme.”

North’s new briefing also includes examples showing that GPS, ECDIS and AIS are all vulnerable to hacking, meaning that ship and cargo operations can be disrupted without their owners, operators and even crew members being aware until it is too late.

“Our new loss prevention briefing therefore focuses on raising awareness of the cyber threats of unauthorised access and malicious attack. It includes a summary of the shipping industry’s Guidelines on Cyber Security onboard Ships, which was published by BIMCO in February this year,” said deputy loss prevention director Colin Gillespie.

“This recommends a six-step cyber-security process: identify threats, identify vulnerabilities, assess risk exposure, develop protection and detection measures, establish contingency plans and respond to cyber security incidents.”

“Though the risk of catastrophic incidents cannot be ruled out, it is far more likely that companies will be at risk from criminal activity such as small-scale fraud, drug, weapons, contraband and people trafficking, and cargo theft. As more and more potential cyber risks are identified, shipowners will be expected to operate sensible and properly managed cyber risk procedures and systems in their offices and on ships.”

The briefing can be downloaded from{/mprestriction}

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