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ABB Marine & Ports opens new lab

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Dry Bulk,

ABB Marine & Ports’ cyber security laboratory has opened at a key moment in shipping’s digital development as stricter maritime cyber security rules enter force on 1 January 2021.

In line with the guidelines set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the new laboratory features hardware and software systems developed to help shipowners and operators combat the maritime industry’s growing cyber security risks. Customers are now being invited for virtual demonstrations of the laboratory’s systems and capabilities.

With the rise of smarter, more connected systems, IMO urges all shipping companies to demonstrate that cyber threats have been part of every vessel’s Safety Management Systems (SMS) risk assessment from 2021 onwards. According to IMO’s guidelines on maritime risk management, “ships with complex cyber-related systems may require a greater level of care and should seek additional resources through reputable industry and government partners.”

“Cyber security is not a product but an evolving target which needs constant monitoring, managing and updating,” said Ahmed Hassan, Head of Cyber Security, ABB Marine & Ports. “As a single vendor offering operating technology (OT) and cyber security, we recognise that managing cyber security is a careful balance between risk, functionality, and cost. The principles of cyber security must apply across all maritime stakeholders, from designers and builders, to owners, operators and crew; and from classification societies to universities and research bodies, government departments and insurers.”

ABB Marine & Ports’ new laboratory will offer cyber security support for shipping companies at all stages of digitalisation and has the flexibility to meet various levels of cyber security requirements. While some companies may only require a one-off assessment of existing OT installations, others may need a long-term approach with continuing support.

New services offered by the ABB Marine & Ports cyber security lab include:

  • Reference architecture that targets network segmentation and segregation.
  • Enforcing security policies to zones and conduits.
  • Ability to monitor network traffic and act on vulnerabilities.
  • Ability to collect and manage security logs for the control system components.
  • ABB Ability™ Cyber Asset Inventory solution, which discovers and records system inventory, as well as notifies about vulnerabilities.
  • Event monitoring, which enables sending alerts to crew members as well as ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations Centres worldwide.

“Our systems have been developed to address the very latest threats and solutions available in cyber risk management,” Hassan concluded. “The new cyber lab confirms our position as a front-runner in the field of maritime security compliance.”

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