Guidelines for Cybersecurity on Ships


Ships have become a target for cyber attacks. Hackers know that many of the ships are vulnerable making them easy to hack.

One of things that has made ships an easy target is because they often do not take security precautions. Most of them they do not have instruments that prevent and protect them from cyberattacks. They rely on old technology which has many vulnerabilities. This makes them easy to be attacked by hackers who have sophisticated technology.

Ships need to invest in new technology and they also need to have security standards to protect them from hackers.

Security standards are very important aspect in any organizations. They assist in protecting the interests of those institutions. For ships, they need standards to develop understanding and awareness of the key aspects of cybersecurity and cyber safety.

They focus on distinctive issues onboard ships. Consequences of not following standareds could be severe, like physical loss of ships, damage to ships, physical injury to crew and onboard people, or the loss of cargo.

Here are standards to make sure that ships stay secure and there cybersecurity is not infringed:

  1. Establishment of awareness of the safety, security and commercial risk

Everyone on board needs to know the risks that the ship is exposed to when sailing. Management should have safety measures taken to mitigate the risks and also should have plan that can be taken in the event of an attack. Education of security measures should be ensure that all on the ship are aware of the risks.

  • Protection of ship with IT infrastructure

For the ship to be safe, there is need to use technology to protect it from attackers. Equipment like firewalls that can protect the ship from intruders and against vulnerabilities that allow the ship’s GPS systems to be attacked.

  • Authentication and authorization system

Access controls should be in place. Everyone should go through authentication and authorization process before being allowed to access information or even certain private areas of the ship. Management of the users is very important to make sure that only those with “Need to Know” can access information that they need.

  • Recovery plan

If a security event occurs there is need of a Blan B. A roll back plan or a restoration plan should be in place to make sure everything can go back to normal even after an attack has occurred. There must be resilience for the ship to go on.

In conclusion, maritime is facing many attacks in recent years and should be focused on cybersecurity. Ships are losing millions of dollars from attacks and are the high time to focus on security.


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