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 the things that have made ships an easy target is because they often do not take security precautions. Most of them do not have instruments that prevent and protect them from cyberattacks. They rely on old technology, which has many vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities make 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 an essential aspect of any organization. They assist in protecting the interests of those institutions. For ships, they need standards to develop understanding and awareness of the critical elements of cybersecurity and cyber safety.

They focus on distinctive issues onboard ships. Consequences of not following standards could be severe, like physical loss of vessels, damage to boats, bodily 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 onboard needs to know the chances that the ship is exposed to when sailing. Management should have safety measures taken to mitigate the risks and also should have a plan that can be made in the event of an attack. The education of security measures should ensure that all on the ship are aware of the risks.

  • Protection of ship with IT infrastructure

For the vessel to be safe, there is a 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 an authentication and authorization process before being allowed to access information or even certain private areas of the ship. Management of the users is critical to make sure that only those with “Need to Know” can access the information that they need.

  • Recovery plan

If a security event occurs, there is a need for a Blan B. A rollback 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.