ABS CyberSafety Vol 1 – Abstract

The American Bureau of Shipping:
ABS CyberSafety Vol 1

What’s in the Standard

This is the first of two volumes published by the ABS on Cybersecurity. They are looking to influence best practices for cybersecurity within and across marine and offshore communities.

Marine and offshore environments include pervasive IT and extensive and numerous cyber physical systems (CPS) in the operation of a ship, including navigation, propulsion, maneuvering, system management, cargo management and safety sensors and alarms.

Ships and platforms are now connected in ways never before considered – and this poses vulnerabilities and an enlarged attack surface. The result is that general purpose systems are frequently connected to special purpose control systems, exposing control systems to security incidents that can have grave operational consequences. ABS is looking to protect vessels not only from malicious attacks, but also from human error.

Take Aways

The most relevant recommendations for cyber security for ICS from the document are : (#5) Provide Perimeter defense, (#17) Protect Operational Technology: this is where they recommend unidirectional technology for data transmission from critical components to authenticated outside users. (#18) Perform System and Security Continuous Monitoring: continuous monitoring (often remotely) is very important in this industry, (#23) Logs Maintenance, (#30) Need for Mobile Data Management, (#30) Exercise Communications Management: the company limits and manages its total connections to the internet.

This one of the largest marine classification societies in the world. The majority of commercial vessels in the US and vessels who want to trade in the US are classed with them.  The ABS sets specifications and guidelines for everything on the ship from construction, to safety, to maintenance, to systems, etc. As the marine industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, safety and security are always front of mind. Implementing unidirectional technology for the most critical control systems for vessels is a recommended way to ensure this safety and security.