DCSA Publishes Implementation Guide for IMO Cyber Security Mandate

03.10.2020

Cyber security best practices to facilitate vessel readiness by January 2021

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, March 10, 2020 – The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalisation of container shipping through technology standards, today in conjunction with its nine member carriers, published the DCSA cyber security implementation guide to facilitate vessel readiness for the IMO (International Maritime Organization) Resolution MSC.428(98) on Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems. The best practices outlined by DCSA provide all shipping companies with a common language and a manageable, task-based approach for meeting the IMO’s January 2021 implementation timeframe[1].

The DCSA cyber security guide, DCSA Implementation Guide for Cyber Security on Vessels, can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website. The guide aligns with existing BIMCO and NIST (US National Institute of Standards and Technology) cyber risk management frameworks, enabling shipowners to effectively incorporate cyber risk management into their existing Safety Management Systems (SMS). The DCSA guide gives shipowners the tools they need to help designated technical crew members mitigate the risk of cyber attack, or contain damage (fail safe) and recover in the event of an attack.

“As shipping catches up with other industries such as banking and telco in terms of digitisation, the need for cyber risk management becomes an imperative,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO, DCSA. “Due to the global economic dependence on shipping and the complex interconnectedness of shipping logistics, cyber attacks such as malware, denial of service, and system hacks can not only disrupt one carrier’s revenue stream, they can have a significant impact on the global economy. As a neutral digital standards organization, DCSA is uniquely positioned to help vessel owners mitigate the increasing risk of cyberattack on their ships, and in turn, on the industry at large.”

The DCSA cyber security implementation guide breaks down the BIMCO framework into themes and maps these themes to the controls that underpin the NIST functional elements: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover. DCSA provides non-technical explanations and specific actions to be taken to address each NIST element in accordance with a company’s level of cyber maturity within each BIMCO theme. Following DCSA guidance will provide vessel owners with a catalogue of cyber security safeguards aligned with each vulnerability identified during risk assessment, together with notes explaining any residual risk.

Jakob Larsen, Head of Maritime Safety & Security for BIMCO said, “The DCSA implementation guidance provides a thorough and refreshing deep dive into the challenge of how to implement cyber risk management in a shipowner company. Initially thought of as a tool for container carriers, the guidance can also inspire the thinking in other shipping sectors as well as the ongoing update of the major shipping associations’ benchmark document ‘Guidelines on Cyber Risk Management Onboard Ships’.”

Webinars will be scheduled in March for DCSA to provide an overview of the implementation guide and collect feedback from industry stakeholders. Please check the event list on the DCSA website for registration links.

About DCSA:

Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is a neutral, non-profit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitise and standardise the container shipping industry. With the mission of leading the industry towards systematic collaboration, DCSA drives initiatives to make container transportation services transparent, reliable, easy to use, secure and environmentally friendly. DCSA’s open source standards are developed based on input from DCSA member carriers, industry stakeholders and technology experts from other industries. DCSA member carriers include:  MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM. Please download DCSA standards at dcsa.org.

About BIMCO:

BIMCO is the world’s largest international shipping association, with around 1,900 members globally. We provide a wide range of services to our global membership – which includes shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents.


[1] Compliance with IMO Resolution MSC.428(98) on Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems is required no later than the first annual verification of the company’s Document of Compliance after 1st January 2021.

Media contact: media@dcsa.org