Marine News - November 2017

Author:Mr Chris Metcalf, Kate Cookson, Andrew Gray, Maurice Thompson, David Bennet, Simon Jackson, Eurof Lloyd-Lewis, Ruth Bonino, Heidi Watson, Ik Wei Chong and Conte Cicala
Profession:Clyde & Co

Institute of Engineering and Technology Publishes "Code of Practice - Cyber Security for Ships"

Written by Chris Metcalf and Kate Cookson

Cyber-attacks and data breaches pose a serious threat to corporations. Recently, there have been a number of high profile attacks, perhaps the most notable of which for the marine industry was the cyber-attack on Maersk, which reportedly affected all business units at Maersk, including container shipping, port and tug boat operations, oil and gas production, drilling services and oil tankers1. Maersk estimated that the cyber-attack negatively impacted its third quarter results by approximately USD 200-300 million2.

Shipping companies face the same risks as any other company, e.g. data breaches, including loss of, or damage to data, software and essential IP; reputational damage; business interruption from network downtime; and financial loss due to extortion and "man in the middle" or "mandate fraud" i.e. redirection of payments.

International standards and guidelines for cyber security issues are provided by ISO/IEC 27001.

This provides an Information Security Management System (ISMS) in that it identifies a number of activities concerning the management of information risks. It provides an overarching management framework through which the organisation identifies, analyses and addresses its information risks.

The standard covers all types of organisations (e.g. commercial enterprises, government agencies, non-profits), all sizes (from micro-businesses to huge multinationals), and all industries or markets (e.g. retail, banking, defence, healthcare, education and government).

However, the ISO/IEC 27001 does not address the issues which are particular to vessels.

In order to fill this gap, a number of industry organisations have come together to produce a set of best practice guidelines: "The Guidelines on Cyber Security on Board Ships" (produced and supported by BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, the Cruise Lines International Association, Intercargo and Intertanko) which seeks to assist shipping companies with their on-board cyber security by providing a step by step guide to risk assessment.

Most recently, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, with the support of the UK Government's Department for Transport (DfT) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have produced the "Code of Practice - Cyber Security for Ships".

This Code does not set out specific technical or construction standards for ship systems but provides a useful management framework that can be used to reduce the risk of cyber incidents. The Code of Practice provides actionable advice on:

developing a cyber security assessment and plan to manage risk; handling security breaches and incidents; and highlighting national and international standards used. The Code is to be used with organisations' risk management systems and subsequent business planning, and works with the "Cyber Security for Ports and Port Systems Code of Practice".

This Code is intended to be read by board members of organisations which own vessels, as well as the senior officers on board and others responsible for the operation of maritime information and operational technology. The Code is further welcome guidance for those responsible for cyber security in the maritime sector.


1 Reuters, "Maersk says global IT Breakdown caused by cyberattack", 27.06.17

2 CNBC, "Shipping company Maersk says June cyberattack could cost it up to US$300m", 16.08.17

Avoiding an "ECDIS Assisted Grounding"

Written by Maurice Thompson, Andrew Gray and Joel Cockerell

A series of digital navigation articles

Following on from our article Collisions, ECDIS and "All available means", we release our second article in the series regarding "Avoiding an ECDIS Assisted Grounding".

With appropriate training, adherence to, and use of an effective Safety Management System (SMS), "ECDIS Assisted Groundings" should become a thing of the past. In this article we consider how an Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) should be used to avoid unnecessary groundings.

The phrase "ECDIS Assisted Grounding" is not new. The phrase is usually attributed to situations where a failure to use ECDIS properly has been identified as one of the causative factors of a grounding. The deficiencies typically include poor system set-up, user inexperience and poor system knowledge, failure to comply with SMS, solely relying on ECDIS or operating the system at a very low level of functionality with key safety features disabled or circumvented.

The use of ECDIS represents a significant change to the operation of a bridge and, if operated correctly and in combination with traditional mariner skills, can provide increased situational awareness and improved navigational safety. The proper use of ECDIS is critical in terms of safety at sea and the legal implications it has for all of those involved in the maritime industry, both at sea and ashore.

Core principles remain unchanged

While the tools may have changed, the principles of safe navigation remain constant. Navigation in the digital age requires the same level of precision, intellectual rigour and skill to ensure the safe navigation and employment of a vessel. As such, the principles of Appraisal, Planning, Execution and Monitoring, as defined in IMO Resolution A.893 (21), remain critical.

Voyage Planning and ECDIS Set-Up

ECDIS incorporates many additional planning features that are not available on paper charts. However, a lack of familiarisation or training can have disastrous consequences. In our experience, recurrent themes in relation to planning include:

Improper ECDIS set-up, including critical safety settings being incorrectly applied such that in-built safeguards, intended to prevent casualties of this nature, are not being activated and therefore acted upon. Display settings not optimised to clearly show all relevant dangers, particularly those vessels without IHO Presentation Library edition 4.0 (an ECDIS software update to chart content and display standards). Routes not being adequately checked for navigational hazards, including through the use of automated route scans of the Cross Track Distance (XTD) (and an assessment of the impact of all automated alarms returned) and visual checks at an appropriate scale. It is also essential that masters understand how to carry out these checks, as well as being able to use all the functions of ECDIS on board so that they can properly fulfil their obligations. Each leg not having an appropriate XTD, which should be carefully planned to provide sufficient sea room for track maintenance and to manoeuvre for collision avoidance, having regard to the proximity of navigational hazards. Insufficient training in the use of the ECDIS system on board, including generic, type specific and practical assessments (in simulators or on board) in relation to those skills. Execution of the Passage

The responsibilities of deck officers, when navigating with ECDIS, do not change. Safe navigation has always required, and continues to require, the continuous monitoring and cross verification of the vessel's position and other critical navigation information.

In our experience, key areas of concern in relation to the monitoring and execution of passages while using ECDIS include:

Lack of familiarity with the specific ECDIS on board and knowledge regarding the availability, activation and use of critical safety functions, which can differ between ECDIS systems (there are currently over 30 type approved ECDIS systems) which can have disastrous impacts, especially when inputs fail during highly stressful and critical situations. Over-reliance on ECDIS without utilising traditional navigation techniques to monitor the integrity of the information displayed, including positional information not being verified through the use of the radar image overlay function, visual bearings, transits, radar ranges, radar parallel indices and echo sounder depths. Failing to capitalise on the gains in situational awareness afforded by ECDIS, by not using this new technology in combination with traditional navigation skills. Routinely, junior mariners need to be encouraged to take a step back from the computer, and look out of the window, to expand their situational awareness and make more informed decisions about navigational safety. Failing to interrogate ECDIS alarms. While issues associated with "alarm fatigue" have, to an extent, been remedied by IHO Presentation Library Edition 4.0, particular care needs to be taken on vessels without the update, as the alarms generated by ECDIS can be excessive. Handover between deck officers who must deal with the status and operation of ECDIS, including the configuration and safety settings currently being utilised on both the primary and back-up ECDIS. Another significant area of concern is the worrying trend where officers, whose vessel's primary means of navigation is paper charts, are utilising ECDIS or unofficial electronic charts, as the primary means of avoiding navigational dangers.

Overcoming through effective SMS

Routinely, where ECDIS is identified as causative of the loss, similar deficiencies are identified with the vessel's SMS (or adherence to that SMS) relating to the use and management of ECDIS. The vessel's SMS must contain guidance relating to the use of ECDIS on board, to ensure the safe navigation and utilisation of the vessel. There is significant guidance available to seafarers, owners and operators covering the appropriate procedures for the utilisation and set up of ECDIS.

Those procedures must address issues relating to training, updating, passage planning, emergency procedures, and the navigation with ECDIS, to ensure that the utilisation of ECDIS, to the extent possible, is no longer proffered as one of the causes of a grounding.


ECDIS, when used by a competent operator, in...

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