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IACS publishes cyber safety recommendations

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has published the first nine in a planned list of twelve recommendations documents on cyber safety, the culmination of a long-term initiative built on cross industry input and support.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}IACS initially addressed the subject of software quality with the publication of UR E22 (Unified Requirements for the On Board Use and Application of Programmable Electronic Systems) in 2006, and has developed this new series of recommendations in recognition of the increase in use of onboard cyber systems since that time.

The documents aim to address the need for a more complete understanding of the interplay between ships’ systems, and to introduce protection against events beyond software errors. The recommendations also cover cyber detection capabilities, as well as response and recovery activities.

“These twelve recommendations represent a significant milestone in addressing safety concerns related to cyber issues,” said IACS chairman Jeong-kie Lee, of the Korean Register.

“IACS’ focus on cyber safety reflects our recognition that cyber systems are now as integral a part of a ship’s safety envelope as its structure and machinery, and IACS is committed to providing industry with the necessary tools as part of our wider mission to deliver safer, cleaner, shipping.”

IACS has convened a Joint Working Group (JWG) on cyber systems which is working on identifying best practice and appropriate existing standards in risk and cyber security, and identifying a practical risk approach.

The association hopes that its recommendations will evolve further in the future based on the experience gained from their practical implementation, and says that they may later be amalgamated into a larger document with more consistent language, overlaps removed and common material consolidated.

“The decision to publish these new materials as stand-alone documents as recommendations was made explicitly to give industry stakeholders access to the developing material,” said IACS secretary general, Robert Ashdown.

“IACS continues to make significant efforts to work ever more closely with industry and believes this approach provides the right balance between delivering the detailed guidance that is urgently required while remaining receptive to input from the industry stakeholders via JWG/CS on how they would like to see IACS proceed.”

The final three recommendation documents in the list of twelve are expected to be published before the end of 2018.{/mprestriction}

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