Cybersecurity Research Contract Goes to ABS

Classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has been awarded a research contract by the Maritime Security Center (MSC), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence, for a two-year research program focused on defining the future of cybersecurity for the maritime industry.

Study participants, which include DHS and the country’s Department of Defense, will focus on key areas that will help define future research and guidance, ABS said.

“Cybersecurity incursions and threats to the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and port facilities throughout the country are increasing,” Hady Salloum, Director of MSC, said.

“This research project will support the missions of the DHS Center of Excellence and the U.S. Coast Guard to address these concerns and vulnerabilities and will identify policies and risk management strategies to bolster the cybersecurity posture of the MTS enterprise,” he added.

The research project’s objectives include defining risk-based performance standards better, developing a maritime-specific framework for cyber policy, identifying critical points of cybersecurity failure, developing design requirements for a maritime cyber test-bed and investigating quantitative analysis tools to determine the effectiveness of cyber detection and deterrent strategies.

In February 2016, the classification society introduced the ABS CyberSafety program, “the industry’s first risk-based management program for asset owners and operators to apply best practice approaches to cybersecurity, automated systems safety, data integrity and software verification.”

In addition, ABS launched the ABS CyberSafety Laboratory earlier this year to prove, analyze and test data integrity and cybersecurity concepts.