Vessels’ code of practice to help combat cyber crime at sea

14 September 2017: The UK’s Code of Practice on Cyber Security for Ships was launched by Transport Minister Lord Callanan yesterday at an Inmarsat seminar about the risks facing the maritime industry.

The guidelines have been produced by the Institution of Engineering and Technology in close association with the Department for Transport and the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory.

They will help senior shipping personnel who have responsibility for the on board security of a range of ships’ systems at a time when the increased complexity and connectivity of vessels is making security and resilience ever more critical.

Security vulnerabilities

Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Aviation, International and Security, launched the code of practice at Inmarsat’s cyber security seminar on 13 September, one of three highly topical events being held by Inmarsat as part of London International Shipping Week.

He commented: “The increasing use of digital technologies in the management of ships provides increased efficiency and the ability to compete in the global market. However, such technologies expose ships to cyber security vulnerabilities and we need to be aware of the risks.

“The Code of Practice on Cyber Security for Ships provides actionable good practice on areas such as developing cyber security plans; devising mitigation measures; ensuring the correct structures, roles, responsibilities and processes are in place; handling incidents and highlighting standards.”

Industry vigilance

Ronald Spithout, President of Inmarsat Maritime, said: “We are delighted that Lord Callanan was able to launch the new guidelines at an event where we highlighted the need for industry-wide action and vigilance.

“In the era of the connected ship, the code of practice will be of real value to all those responsible for vessel security.”