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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

New questionnaire asks how cyber-aware are tankers crews?

Thu 13 Sep 2018 by Craig Jallal, tankers and markets editor

New questionnaire asks how cyber-aware are tankers crews?
The vast majority of attacks are targeted at the “human factor” not the tanker’s IT structure

Most cyber attacks are targeted at people rather than IT infrastructure, to the extent the ‘human factor’ is now widely considered the biggest risk in cyber security at sea. Training provider Seagull Maritime has acknowledged this and notes it is essential to have a contingency plan in place if a tanker and/or the operator’s IT infrastructure is compromised.

An awareness of cyber security is one of the key revisions to OCIMF’s latest Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (VIQ). OCIMF is a key driving force in the development of safety rules and regulations in the tanker and offshore industry.

OCIMF is now checking that cyber security awareness is actively promoted by the shipping company and crew on board. In the VIQ, training films and crew-specific training are discussed as valid methods to promote cyber security awareness. The responsible use of social media is also highlighted in the new section, demonstrating its importance in today's maritime industry.

Seagull Maritime promotes training on cyber security and social media through an e-learning platform.

With the VIQ coming into effect on 17 September 2018, Seagull Maritime expects there will be a huge demand for third-party verification of this type of training.

The distance-learning course on cyber security and the diploma that crew members receive is a way of verifying that specific knowledge on these subjects has been applied by owners and operators to satisfy VIQ requirements.

Seagull Maritime AS manager course department Ingrid Grønsberg said: "Many seafarers have completed all the necessary e-learning modules for applying for a cyber-security course diploma, but a very limited number have submitted an application yet. We highly recommend doing this in order to have their training verified in the best possible way." 

The Tanker Shipping and Trade Conference and Awards 2018 has a particular session on this issue: Cyber risks as part of safety management and security plans. Book now to avoid disappointment.

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