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The cyber-ship needs a shift in seafarer competencies, says LR

The cyber-ship needs a shift in seafarer competencies, says LR
Cyber-attacks “can happen now”, and shipping has a steep hill to climb when it comes to increasing technical competencies amongst seafarers, says Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) Luis Benito.

Benito, LR’s global strategic marketing manager for business development & innovation, said: “We have to start discussing new competencies. I know some companies have already started looking at these. One of them is, what are you going to do in an emergency? Because now this is not about machinery breaking, but about the ship being run by the wrong software.

“So if a ship should hit rocks - the propeller and the engine might be working properly, but it’s going in the wrong direction. If this happens with a cyber-ship, the crew, and shore and sea-based staff, will have to deal with this problem. As a shipowner, that would be my number one concern.

“The captain, as the person who is ultimately responsible would have to understand all this as well.”

Much of this risk comes from the various ship equipment capable of communicating with the manufacturer – for example, engines, or ECDIS consoles – which could pose major risks to owners if the manufacturer’s systems are compromised, Benito told Seatrade Maritime News.

“We are creating a new supply chain for shipping. If you think about traditional members of the chain, you think about equipment makers, designers, builders, shipowners, operators, flag states, classification… but now, to make the cyber-ship commercially viable, you will have to count on software, companies providing equipment that is software driven… cyber-security providers… may even go into different sub-contracted maintenance companies.”