LR and QinetiQ to collaborate on maritime cyber security

Pilot announced with GasLog on application to LNG vessels 

07 September 2016

LR and QinetiQ have announced a collaboration to increase the level of security of cyber-enabled ships. A pilot project with GasLog, the international owner, operator and manager of LNG carriers, seeks to tailor methodologies for LNG vessels.

Cyber-attacks have become more frequent and more sophisticated, with the threat becoming a board level preoccupation for the marine sector. Cyber security is becoming an increasingly important element of the risk profile of critical assets that are connected between ship and shore. The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) are all developing guidance and regulation to address these challenges.

With its independence, technical expertise and deep understanding of system-level risk, LR is collaborating with QinetiQ to support maritime customers and other stakeholders in assuring their cyber security. QinetiQ combines its maritime consultancy capability, evolved through decades of acting as impartial advisor to the Royal Navy, with its cyber security expertise, trusted to protect government organisations and critical national infrastructure.

The collaboration aims at developing robust methodologies for readiness against existing and emerging standards, vulnerability and impact assessment and mitigation measures, all carefully tailored for the maritime sector and the specific needs of customers.

LR and QinetiQ's first pilot project is with GasLog, a leading operator in the global LNG shipping sector, looking at specific methodologies for LNG vessels in order to establish GasLog’s readiness with respect to IMO/USCG guidelines and available standards.

GasLog’s Head of Newbuilding, Innovation and Projects, Theo Katemidis said: "At GasLog, we are constantly focused on driving safety and environmental improvements through our business as the wider LNG shipping industry continues to evolve. Our collaboration with LR and QinetiQ demonstrates our desire to take a lead in cyber security to further understand future vulnerabilities and ensure that we have the necessary mitigating measures in place."

LR’s Marine & Offshore Director Nick Brown said: "Due to the rapid pace of technology development prescriptive approaches to risk management are not always suitable. Instead, a ‘total systems’ approach is required taking into account all systems on board and – critically – on shore, how they are designed and installed, how they connect, and how they will be managed. Our tailored approach to cyber security takes account of these interdependencies and we are delighted to be working with GasLog who are taking an industry lead in cyber security."

QinetiQ's International Maritime Consultancy and Software Director, Vittorio Vagliani, said: "A number of factors are putting pressure on the maritime industry to increase its focus on cyber security. It is likely that cyber certification will soon become a legal requirement for entering some territorial waters. Increased internet connectivity at sea enlarges the window of opportunity for criminal organisations to intercept confidential data such as the ship’s position, its cargo, or its passenger list. In a future where autonomous and remotely controlled craft are commonplace, greater cyber protection will be crucial in ensuring chartered vessels cannot be taken off course by those with malicious intent.

"QinetiQ and Lloyd’s Register are ideally placed to support the commercial maritime industry in maximising cyber security and we are excited about the opportunities this collaboration presents."

This announcement follows LR’s recent launch of its first technical guidance for cyber-enabled ships, which provides the shipping industry with a route map to understanding the implications of digital technology. Cyber-security is a core component alongside safety, autonomy, condition based maintenance and operational efficiency. The cyber-enabled ships guidance can be downloaded at www.lr.org/cyber.

As a trusted provider of safety assurance to the marine industry, LR is ready to help customers and stakeholders to ensure that Information and communications technology (ICT) is deployed safely on vessels and ship-to-shore systems.