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Cybersecurity Implementation Guide to Help Maritime Shippers Meet 2021 Goal

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalization of container shipping through technology standards, has published the DCSA cyber security implementation guide to facilitate vessel readiness for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution MSC.428(98) on Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems. 

The best practices outlined by DCSA and its nine member carriers provide all shipping companies with a common language and a manageable, task-based approach for meeting the IMO’s January 2021 implementation timeframe.

The DCSA cyber security guide, DCSA Implementation Guide for Cyber Security on Vessels, can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website. The guide aligns with existing Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cyber risk management frameworks, enabling shipowners to effectively incorporate cyber risk management into their existing Safety Management Systems. The DCSA guide gives shipowners the tools they need to help designated technical crew members mitigate the risk of cyber attack, or contain damage (fail safe) and recover in the event of an attack.

Thomas Bagge, CEO, DCSA said due to the global economic dependence on shipping and the complex interconnectedness of shipping logistics, cyber attacks such as malware, denial of service, and system hacks can not only disrupt one carrier’s revenue stream, they can have a significant impact on the global economy.

The DCSA cyber security implementation guide breaks down the BIMCO framework into themes and maps these themes to the controls that underpin the NIST functional elements: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover. DCSA provides non-technical explanations and specific actions to be taken to address each NIST element in accordance with a company’s level of cyber maturity within each BIMCO theme. Following DCSA guidance will provide vessel owners with a catalogue of cyber security safeguards aligned with each vulnerability identified during risk assessment, together with notes explaining any residual risk.

Jakob Larsen, Head of Maritime Safety & Security for BIMCO said, “The DCSA implementation guidance provides a thorough and refreshing deep dive into the challenge of how to implement cyber risk management in a shipowner company. Initially thought of as a tool for container carriers, the guidance can also inspire the thinking in other shipping sectors as well as the ongoing update of the major shipping associations’ benchmark document ‘Guidelines on Cyber Risk Management Onboard Ships’.”

Webinars will be scheduled in March for DCSA to provide an overview of the implementation guide and collect feedback from industry stakeholders.

Read more at DCSA

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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