- Operations - New industry body for maritime cybersecurity launches

By SuperyachtNews

New industry body for maritime cybersecurity launches

The International Maritime Cyber Security Organisation launched to raise the standard of cybersecurity risk assessment across the maritime industry …


A non-profit body, The International Maritime Cyber Security Organisation (IMCSO) will make available three services to the maritime sector: a certification programme for consultants, a register of qualified consultants and a database housing assessment reports on vessels. Each will enable shipping, port authorities and the insurance industry to make informed decisions about the personnel they select to perform assessments and to ascertain the risk status of vessels.

“Cybersecurity has been mandated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which requires shipping companies to implement measures to protect their on-board safety management systems and to regularly audit them. However, the change in legislation has given rise to a new maritime cyber security industry that has proven to be variable in its approach to assessing systems and interpreting the standards,” explains Campbell Murray, CEO at the IMCSO. 

“Ships’ captains often do not have the time to escort cyber auditors for these assessments. This is compounded by a variety of assessment methodologies used to provide risk and technical audit results to port authorities and insurers, leading to needless complexity, overheads and delays. It’s these issues that the IMCSO aims to address, by equipping the security industry to conduct these tests in an appropriate, safe and uniform manner, thus enabling the sector to benchmark compliance.”

The IMCSO Maritime Standard cyber certification scheme offers training across four disciplines. Cyber professionals who take the examination can qualify as an Offensive Security Practitioner or Maritime Cyber Security Specialist in addition to specific fields including Secure by Design and Cloud Security.

An authorised supplier registry will also be made available by the IMCSO and will act as a record of approved cyber security suppliers within the maritime cyber security speciality. Applicant organisations will need to meet certain certification and accreditation standards such as ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 as well as strict certification criteria. In addition to profiling the organisation, the register will also reference the individual qualifications of those they employ. Shipping companies can then search the database to look for personnel experienced in a specific domain and location.

A risk register database will be maintained by the IMCSO containing the results of ship assessments and audits enabling relevant parties to access the cyber risk profile of any given vessel. The IMCSO will also standardise report outputs preventing the confusion that can arise from using different methodologies. Adopting this uniform approach will eliminate any ambiguity over report findings, making it much easier for the consumers of this information, such as port authorities and insurance providers, to consider a vessel’s cyber risk.

The standardised vessel-by-vessel data will allow for the building of a sharable and searchable dataset that will enable the IMCSO to track trends in cyber risk. It will also be used to inform the IMO, ship builders, insurers and management companies of such trends and provide a valuable and currently absent service to other service and insurance providers.

“The IMCSO promises to simplify the risk assessment process and to give third parties the information they need to accurately determine risk.  This will result in more accurate cyber insurance policies, for instance, and the ability to use the report data to track cyber trends may help the sector to become more resilient. We look forward to utilising the IMCSO database to help our clients,” says Kaela Bermeister, captain of a private yacht.

“The independent validation of cybersecurity professionals offered by the IMCSO will help our members to select cybersecurity testers in a much more efficient way, ensuring they allow personnel on board with the requisite experience. It will make it much easier to comply with the IMO mandate and will prove an invaluable resource,” says Ms Caroline Yang, President, Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), a trade association representing the interests of over 500 Singapore-based companies.

The importance of security on board is explored in the next issue of  The Superyacht Report – Captains focus, due out later this month. To gain access to The Superyacht Group’s full suite of content, publications, events and services, click here to join The Superyacht Group Community and become one of our members.

Join the discussion

New industry body for maritime cybersecurity launches


To post comments please Sign in or Register

When commenting please follow our house rules

Click here to become part of The Superyacht Group community, and join us in our mission to make this industry accessible to all, and prosperous for the long-term. We are offering access to the superyacht industry’s most comprehensive and longstanding archive of business-critical information, as well as a comprehensive, real-time superyacht fleet database, for just £10 per month, because we are One Industry with One Mission. Sign up here.

Related news

Image for How to make a fair presentation of risk

How to make a fair presentation of risk

Hill Dickinson’s Francesca Conn and David Reardon dissect the Delos v Allianz case and explain what this means for superyacht insurance


Image for What does “choice-of-forum” mean for yacht insurance?

What does “choice-of-forum” mean for yacht insurance?

A recent US Supreme Court ruling on marine insurance policies has flagged numerous new legal considerations for American yacht owners


Image for NOx and SOx

NOx and SOx

They may be an easy rhyming pair, but why are these two chemicals such an issue for the industry and the environment?


Image for Who carries the insurance can?

Who carries the insurance can?

Brit Reed, Harris, Reed & Seiferth Insurance Group Inc CEO, explores who covers the liability if there is an accident during refit


Sign up to the SuperyachtNews Bulletin

Receive unrivalled market intelligence, weekly headlines and the most relevant and insightful journalism directly to your inbox.

The SuperyachtNews App

Follow us on