Indian shipping sector safeguards itself against cyber attacks

29 Aug 2017
Arun Sharma: “IRClass plays a significant role in ensuring that the safety of a vessel and its crew are not compromised by such attacks”

Arun Sharma: “IRClass plays a significant role in ensuring that the safety of a vessel and its crew are not compromised by such attacks”

India’s shipping sector is taking positive steps to safeguard itself against cyber-attacks directed at new emerging technologies.

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has developed class rules based on guidelines set by the IMO, as well as appropriate standards such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology – US Department of Commerce (NIST).

“Cyber-attacks on ship’s control systems, IT, navigational and other critical systems can result in damage or even losing course of the ship – which can drastically affect the safety of the ship, port facilities and marine property,” said Arun Sharma, executive chairman, IRClass.

“As the industry continues to introduce new technologies, IRClass as a classification society, plays a significant role in ensuring that the safety of a vessel and its crew are not compromised by such attacks,” he added.

The implementation of these new rules will help IRClass to identify the cyber risk issues from as early as the design stage of the vessel.

A final verification then takes place once the vessel is built, and periodically during annual surveys. A vessel, together with its shipping back office, that is certified for cyber safety is one that complies to the class rules as well as additional class notation.

In addition to the class rules, IRClass has also developed the first edition of ‘Cyber Safety Guidelines for Port and Shipping Company Facilities’, a guide to safeguarding technology systems from internal and external cyber threats.