The shipping industry should take protective measures to be 'cyber mature', particularly as personal, confidential and operational information is at risk, it was concluded at a panel discussion held in the framework of the Maritime Cyprus 2017 conference in Limassol.
As explained, shipping constitutes a target for cyber attacks since a lot of information and money is at stake.
"Cybersecurity sustainable investments should be materialiased and the level of cyber maturity should be continuously reinforced as the cybersecurity issue needs to be a continuous improvement process," it was highlighted at the panel.
What is more, panelists pointed out that cyber risk is here to stay for both companies and ships but cyber risk management is possible and achievable.
On novel ship design, it was mentioned that newly designed ships have additional and innovative equipment on board that makes them more efficient. This equipment will lead to decreased air emissions from such new ships. The role of the shipowners during the design stage and of the classification societies during the building stage of new ships was also discussed.
With regard to digitalization, it was emphasized that the industry needs to be ready to embrace its benefits and prepare for the threats it poses such as cyber security. The importance of preparing employees and crews for future technologies through training was stressed.
Autonomous ships will become a reality but we should not expect to see unmanned ships for many years to come since seafarers on board cannot be replaced by vulnerable digital systems, according to the panelists.
Panelists included Steffen Gau, Marine Business Development New Construction of Lloyd’s Register Marine and Offshore covering the discussion on novel ship designs, Cynthia Hudson, CEO of HudsonAnalytix covering the discussion on cyber security, and George Ward, Project Support Manager of ECDIS talking about digitalization.