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IMCA to run cyber security workshop

Published on 16 July 2015

IMCA to Run Cyber Security Workshop

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), in conjunction with the Security Association for the Marine Industry (SAMI), is holding a Cyber Security Workshop on Wednesday 9 September 2015, during London International Shipping Week (LISW) on board HQS Wellington moored on the River Thames.

“The aim of the workshop is to provide those attending with the latest assessment and current trends in cyber security threat and to provide guidance on how to counter the threat posed by this potentially catastrophic 21st century security phenomenon,” explains Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director and Acting Chief Executive.

“The recent publication of the US Coast Guard Cyber Security guidance and debate at the IMO’s Marine Safety Committee on the need for the marine industry to develop appropriate guidelines, all point to the need for the marine industry to grasp the initiative in this area and to take proactive action before a major incident is allowed to occur.”

Highly relevant day

Cyber Security experts from Templar Executives will be facilitating the workshop, which will include a briefing on the new marine cyber security guidance developed by BIMCO and which is likely to be incorporated into IMO guidance, as well as threat updates from well-respected subject matter experts from the industry. The outline programme of events also includes syndicate briefings, and cyber threat scenario table top syndicate work.

The syndicate work will involve group discussion on cyber security incidents based around a central scenario configured to the offshore sector and ranging in severity from simple inadvertent mistakes up to malicious organised attack. Output of syndicates will be captured by mentors from Templar, SAMI and IMCA and used to prepare informative guidance for the organisations’ members to be distributed through each association’s usual communication mediums. It is intended that attendees will leave the event ‘uncomfortably educated’ in the least well understood threat to the commercial maritime environment.

The workshop is aimed at Directors with security responsibilities and company and ship Security Officers as well as IT personnel, however due to the nature of the cyber security threat in the offshore marine domain, any other personnel in member organisations with an interest in this field are welcome to attend. Running from 10:00 until 18:30 (including a networking reception) the workshop will be free to attend for IMCA and SAMI members, with places available for non-members at a cost of £120 +VAT). The workshop is being included in the LISW event listing – IMCA is a supporting organisation for the week which runs 7-11 September).

A one hour networking lunch and an end of day reception ensure that, as at all IMCA events, there are informal discussion opportunities.

Those wishing to attend should contact [email protected], +44(0)20 7824 5520 from whom further information is available.

Revised guidance shines a light on the issue

Revised guidance published earlier this year by IMCA’s Security Task Force helps shine the light on cyber security. ‘Security Measures and Emergency Response Guidance’ (IMCA SEL 037/ M 226), is available for free downloading from the IMCA website by members and non-members alike. It delivers quite broad guidance, covering vessel and office security measures and is designed to provide a basic framework on to which members can build their own specific security needs. It aims to give guidance to masters, company and ship security officers, and other crew and staff members, on security measures and emergency procedures at sea and ashore.

This new security guidance centres on a philosophy of ‘layered defence’ which means that those needing to establish security structures employ a range of measures which are appropriately collaborative and co-ordinated to result in the required ‘security state’ for the circumstances demanded. So the document is not focussed on any one particular, or existing, ‘High Risk Area’ but rather it makes recommendations on the use of threat risk assessments to determine where the measures described may need to be adopted.

The extent of the measures employed can therefore be directly proportional to the security threat that might be expected, always recognising that new and emergent threats are occurring with growing frequency in the modern world.

It was the need to revise general security advisory measures in the light of these threat uncertainties and especially for the need to provide guidance in the modern maritime domain for the growing cyber threat, which prompted the IMCA Security Task Force to embark on the revision process.

IMCA will continue to issue guidance and helpful information on this new form of threat. As one of the members of the IMCA Security Task Force said”Being prepared is not only key to protecting revenue, but it is also what will safeguard our people and our assets.” Strong words, but that’s the measure of the cyber threat!