Ship classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (known as ClassNK) has joined the Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MTS-ISAC) as part of a growing list of maritime community partners.
The relationship between the two nonprofit organizations intends to strengthen vessel and shoreside cyber risk management. The partnership provides ClassNK with actionable insights from community-sourced cyber threat intelligence to reinforce ClassNK’s Cyber Security Guidelines to help prevent cyber incidents from negatively impacting the safety and security of maritime operations. ClassNK is the first classification society and the first non-U.S. organization to formally join the MTS-ISAC, helping broaden the reach of the MTS-ISAC’s efforts to support the maritime community.
Both vessel and shoreside cybersecurity efforts will be under increasing scrutiny starting in 2021. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has a deadline of January 1, 2021 for Maritime Cyber Risk Management to be addressed in Safety Management Systems. Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard will be inspecting Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 regulated facilities for cyber risk management efforts for the first time starting with annual inspections occurring on or after October 1, 2021. Both of these organizational efforts have signaled to maritime stakeholders that cybersecurity is a priority that must be addressed to ensure safe and secure MTS operations.
Hirofumi Takano, Executive Vice President at ClassNK, explains, “We have been working with the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), maritime stakeholders and cyber security professionals to understand and promote cybersecurity best practices across the maritime transportation system (MTS). By joining the MTS-ISAC, we will have increased visibility to current, real-world examples of cyber threats targeting MTS stakeholders. This provides us an opportunity to reinforce how, and periodically update, ClassNK’s Cyber Security standards to provide our stakeholders with the latest security recommendations to protect their assets from cyber threats. With IMO 2021 right around the corner, this relationship is perfectly timed to add increasing value to our stakeholders, and we are excited to be a part of the active and growing MTS-ISAC community. We hope ClassNK stakeholders will quickly understand the value of this partnership.”
“We are excited that ClassNK is bringing a proactive, classification society perspective into the MTS-ISAC community,” adds Scott Dickerson, the MTS-ISAC’s Executive Director. “The MTS community’s resiliency is improved when we can quickly address cyber risks with meaningful cybersecurity controls. ClassNK joining the MTS-ISAC is a perfect example of how community partnerships provide win-win situations while reinforcing to stakeholders how the implementation of guidelines and recommended security controls can reduce their exposure to risks the community is actively seeing. The MTS-ISAC’s Board of Directors understands the importance of cyber risk prevention efforts, and are supportive of the inclusion of class societies into our information sharing ecosystem as a key component to building a stronger culture of community cybersecurity.”
The MTS-ISAC, which was formed in February of this year, has seen rapid adoption of its Cybersecurity Information Sharing Services, and has produced a number of maritime cybersecurity advisories sourced from member shared information. The MTS-ISAC strives to incorporate best practices into their intelligence products so that MTS critical infrastructure stakeholders can be better protected. While ClassNK is the ISAC’s first international member, it anticipates additional international stakeholders to be joining the community.