Tokyo-based ocean ship classification society ClassNK is boosting its cybersecurity capabilities by setting up a cross-sectional team of marine and security experts.
ClassNK said that it is boosting its cybersecurity capabilities to meet the expanding needs of clients. A key development was a decision of the Maritime Safety Committee, part of the UN’s International Maritime Organization, to adopt “Resolution MSC.428(98) Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems.” Among other things, that resolution encourages the shipping industry to ensure that cyber risks are “appropriately addressed” in ship management systems no later than Jan. 1, 2021.
ClassNK said that ship cybersecurity is “entering a practical stage.”
In response to questions from FreightWaves, ClassNK said its main concept for cybersecurity is to take measures “in a holistic and comprehensive way. This is why we have gathered ship and security experts to work on cybersecurity efficiently, instead of separately, resulting in faster and more practical service.”
This approach will include measures based on a combination of physical, technical and organizational approaches “such as designing ships and onboard equipment with security by design, and constructing management systems during service to mitigate cyber risks in both information technology and operation technology.”
Classification society support
ClassNK told FreightWaves that it is setting up its cybersecurity team in response to the expanding needs of clients and will include cybersecurity class notation for ships and ship/company management system certification.
The classification society says that ship owners and operators will receive support from ClassNK to update their safety management systems in line with the resolution from the Maritime Safety Committee. This will include help with the development of advanced projects including support through the issue of certification, ClassNK told FreightWaves.
To date, ClassNK has set out four sets of guidelines on this topic. These include the basic Cyber Security Approach (February 2019); Guidelines for Designing Cyber Security Onboard Ships (February 2019); Cyber Security Management System for Ships (March 2019) and Guidelines for Software Security (June 2019).
Classification societies are fundamentally important to the operation of international ocean-going ships. A classification society carries out several functions. Primarily, it creates technical standards for the safe operation of ocean-going ships. It also carries out inspections and surveys of ships to check that the vessels are seaworthy. The society will also issue classification certificates to ships if they are seaworthy and meet the applicable rules and standards.
A ship without a classification certificate cannot receive and sustain its liability insurance, equipment insurance or hull and machinery insurance. A ship that falls out of class for any reason will automatically invalidate its insurances. A ship operator that runs a ship without marine insurance runs a phenomenal financial risk in the event of any kind of accident.
In addition a ship that falls out of class will almost certainly be in breach of various contracts (whether for hire or carriage, or for any loan on the vessel) and the ship will very likely be detained by the authorities at the first port of call. An ocean-going ship that is not “in class” essentially cannot trade.