ABS executive warns cyber-risk 'not going away'

The following is the text of a news release from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS):

(STAMFORD, Conn.) — ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, participated in the 32nd annual CMA Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Stamford, Conn., where ABS Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif shared his perspective on cyber-related challenges faced by the marine industry.

“The main challenge we face is that in our industry not all users of new technology understand the way the software they are using was built, how it operates, what happens when it fails and what mitigation they have,” Nassif said. “Now, our ships and assets employ a ‘system of systems’ approach that combines operational and information technology."

Nassif spoke about how these new challenges make it an exciting time to be working for a class society, explaining how class is adapting to address these new risks. “Looking at the future, we can see that cyber and software risk are overlapping and converging, and as a result, class and industry both have to adapt. With the expansion of the regulatory environment, class is widening its remit to include verification of compliance with regulations and new topics such as cybersecurity."

Nassif warned, “Cyber-risk is a subject that is not going away.” To tackle this massive subject, ABS has developed ABS CyberSafety, a modular and measurable process that can evolve over time as threats and technologies emerge.

Describing the ABS approach to cybersecurity, Nassif said, “ABS CyberSafety brings together traditional IT and operational technology, moving from a set of basic procedures covering corporate organization and governance to a detailed capability and task-assessment cycle. Looking at it this way enables us to understand assets, gaps and vulnerabilities, develop a risk profile and execute a project plan with asset owners.”

In closing Nassif reiterated the importance of tackling cyber-risks head on and doing so in a way that integrates operational and information technology platforms.

The annual CMA Shipping Conference and Exhibition brings together experts from around the world to speak on the issues that will shape the future of the maritime industry.

By Professional Mariner Staff