The United States Coast Guard (USCG)’s recent instructions include a new section regarding vessels’ new need for upgraded SMS (Safety Management Systems):
“If cyber risk management has not been incorporated into the vessels’ SMS by the company’s first annual verification of the DOC, a deficiency should be issued with action code 30 – Ship Detained”.
What does that mean?
The maritime cyber security world is evolving rapidly.
Companies, authorities and governments are becoming more and more aware of the need to improve their means of protection against cyber security threats.
In light of that, the USCG and IMO (International Maritime Organization), had issued instructions, guiding organizations to upgrade their safety management systems accordingly: “If cyber risk management has not been incorporated into the vessel’s SMS by the company’s first annual verification of the DOC after January 1, 2021, a deficiency should be issued with action code 30 – Ship Detained, with the requirement of an external audit within 3 months or prior to returning to a U.S. port after sailing foreign”.
The meaning of this new issue is that organizations that choose to not upgrade their SMS (Safety Management Systems) with cyber security means of protection, are facing detention of their vessels and several audits.
Why is that important?
According to the USCG’s Strategic Cyber Outlook from 2021, there are over 2,000 cyber security attacks per day, globally.
More and more organizations and vessels are experiencing increased vulnerability, due to their lack of awareness or preparation in case of a cyber attack.
The IMO & USCG are acting to reduce as much as possible the risk and exposure of vessels to cyber crime, thus to ensure vessels do not pose a risk to the Marine Transportation System (MTS) in case of a cyber event.
What can be done?
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