Inmarsat releases superyacht cyber security guide

Mobile satellite communications specialist Inmarsat has released a new, free of charge report outlining how to meet the cyber security responsibilities expected of superyacht owners, managers and captains under the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) obligations. The obligations enter into force next year.

Published by the Inmarsat Research Programme, Cyber Security requirements for IMO 2021 offers unique insights into Inmarsat’s cyber security experience and examples of real cyberattacks on vessels, providing superyacht owners, managers, captains, engineers and technical officers with a guide to the criteria for compliance. By IMO resolution, superyacht Safety Management Systems must be documented as including cyber risk management under the International Safety Management Code no later than the first annual audit after 1 January 2021.

The 40-page document cites the 2020 Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity Report, which reported that 40 per cent of superyacht professionals surveyed still do not know the difference between anti-virus software and network endpoint security. It also highlights the way threats continue to adapt and evolve, reporting a fourfold increase in cyber-attacks on maritime targets that coincides with the industry’s move to home-based working through the Covid-19 pandemic.

To deepen industry understanding of the new cyber security regime, the report summarises industry exposure to date, identifies the vessel-specific vulnerabilities that have driven regulators to act and explores the precedents from outside and inside the maritime sector for IMO rule development. The context provides a vital preamble to a clear and concise guide to IMO 2021 compliance and the steps required to identify, protect against, detect, respond to, recover from and report on cyberattacks aimed at superyachts.

Inmarsat also provides guidance on Fleet Secure Endpoint (FSE), its cyber security protection, monitoring and reporting tool that can support superyacht owners and managers towards compliance. Without additional hardware, FSE’s multi-layered network protection against phishing, spyware, botnets and more updates system status using software on end-user machines.

Providing context, Cyber Security requirements for IMO 2021 focuses on FSE as a critical component in Total IT Best Practice for compliance, rather than providing a compliance solution in its own right. It also highlights Inmarsat’s role as partner to Maritime Cyber Security Awareness training developed for Stapleton International by MLA College, which is also available to FSE users.

“As the superyacht fleet heads towards a new regime on cyber security, this is a significant publication for anyone investigating the fast-evolving threats facing yachts at sea,” says Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Safety, Security, Yachting and Passenger, Inmarsat Maritime. “Anyone wanting to know what the new IMO rules mean and, in Fleet Secure Endpoint, the viable solutions already available to support towards compliance can’t afford to miss Cyber Security requirements for IMO 2021.”

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