Be Cyber Aware At Sea

Global Maritime Cyber Awareness Initiative Launched

Be Cyber Aware At Sea


JWC International a leading provider of Maritime & Offshore Cyber Security Training Solutions have launched the ‘Be Cyber Aware At Sea’ campaign to help raise awareness of cyber threats and risks to ship owners and offshore energy suppliers through an industry messaging initiative which includes posters, short educational films, guidance booklets for on board crew members and a bespoke maritime cyber training programme.

It was recently reported that more than 80% of offshore (situated at sea) Cyber, Information Technology (I.T) and Operational Technology (O.T) security breaches are as a direct result of human error. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) also recently reported that cyber crime at sea was on the rise and ship owners should be aware of the consequences of not implementing risk mitigation measures.

In a recent study conducted at Coventry University (UK) by the author with the support of the CSO Alliance, it was highlighted that 67% of Company Security Officers (CSOs) within shipping companies felt ‘Cyber Security’ was NOT a serious threat to international shipping. It was also highlighted in the same study (‘Cyber Security, The Unknown Threat At Sea 2016’) that 89% of CSO’s did not believe Cyber Security was their responsibility and referred the author directly to their IT department. The study which was carried out over 18 months with more than 250 ship owners of all shapes and sizes also explored the awareness levels on board as well as on land in HQ. It was highlighted that 91% of Ship Security Officers (SSOs) questioned or interviewed believed that they did not have the knowledge, training or competencies to manage the cyber threats to the vessel. Finally perhaps the most concerning finding from this study was that 100% of the shipowners who took part in this study highlighted that crew members were given NO training at all nor was there any campaigns to raise awareness, yet 53% of CIOs stated they had IT security policies in place on their vessels.

The Be Cyber Aware At Sea Campaign which launched in June 2016, is assisting ship owners, P & I clubs, classification societies, marine lawyers and flag state registries with spreading the message worldwide. A series of posters will be released in October 2016 that help seafarers and offshore crews to understand the risks often posed by the companies greatest asset, but likewise the biggest vulnerability – The Human Element!

As well as the innovative poster campaign which is being supported and endorsed by key industry bodies, there is also the Fidra Films ‘Be Cyber Aware At Sea’ project which goes hand in hand with the posters and supporting training packages. The film project which includes a series of short educational videos that relate to the poster messaging,will help ‘normalise’ and ‘simplify’ the cyber threats and will show on board crew how cyber risks concerning IT and OT can be reduced significantly by adopting some simple steps. The project which is a not for profit initiative has been supported by NSSL Global, Teekay, Tankers, CSO Alliance, JWC International and City of Glasgow College and many other sponsors who will fund the distribution of the educational videos worldwide to help fight the unknown threat at sea!

Finally, JWC International have designed and developed the first internationally approved ‘Maritime Cyber Security Awareness Course’ (MCSA) in conjunction with the UK lead for Cyber and Information Assurance, GCHQ. The course which can be delivered on board or at the shipping or energy companies HQ is the first of its kind and has been developed by the maritime and offshore sectors for their people.

The ‘Be Cyber Aware At Sea’ initiative will be holding free workshops around the world for CSO’s, SSO’s, IT staff and seafarers in conjuction with the CSO Alliance. If you or your business has products and services in relation to marine or offshore cyber security and you wish to sponsor, support or get involved in this initiative then please get in touch today:

It is often said that, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’, is your ship safe from a cyber attack?

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