ABS to Lead Cybersecurity Research Program


By MarEx 2016-10-07 18:28:06

The American Bureau of Shipping announced Friday that it has won a contract for cybersecurity research from an academic center supported by the Department of Homeland Security.

The two year program is funded through the Maritime Center of Excellence, a research consortium led by Hoboken-based Stevens Institute of Technology and backed by DHS. The Center's initial RFP for the project indicates a contract award of $350,000. 

Over the course of the project, ABS and study participants will attempt to chart a course for future research efforts. Their objectives include:

- identifying cybersecurity weak points
- developing guidance for maritime-specific cyber policy
- defining the requirements for a maritime cybersecurity test bed, and
- investigating tools to test cyber detection and deterrence strategies. 

"Cybersecurity incursions and threats to the Marine Transportation System and port facilities throughout the country are increasing,” said Dr. Hady Salloum, director of the Maritime Center of Excellence. “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."

Under the leadership of chairman, president and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS has quickly become a leading voice in the field of maritime cybersecurity. The class society put together a dedicated cyber team and cyber test laboratory earlier this year, and in February it rolled out what it describes as the industry's "first risk-based management program" for best practices in cyber protection and data integrity. Along with the new program, it published the first in what will be a series of cyber guidelines, entitled Guidance Notes on the Application of Cybersecurity Principles to Marine and Offshore Operations.

Wiernicki was until recently the president of the International Association of Class Societies, where he upgraded the status of cybersecurity issues to the same level of importance as more traditional areas of concern (Safety, Hull, Machinery, Environment and Survey).