Skip to main content



Thursday, March 25, 2021 

Mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat has released a new, free of charge report covering IMO 2021 obligations and their implications for cruise ship and ferry professionals regarding cyber security.

The obligations enter into force in 2022 and the report aims to support owners, managers and captains on compliance as they work to protect passenger ship security. Published by the Inmarsat Research Programme, Cyber Security requirements for IMO 2021 offers insights into Inmarsat’s cyber security experience and examples of real cyberattacks on vessels, providing cruise ship and ferry owners, managers, captains, engineers and technical officers with a guide to the criteria for compliance. Passenger ship Safety Management Systems must be documented as including cyber risk management under the ISM Code no later than the first annual audit after 1 January 2021.

The 40-page document highlights the way threats continue to adapt and evolve, reporting a four-fold increase in cyberattacks on maritime targets that coincides with the industry’s move to home-based working through the Covid-19 pandemic. It also provides a comprehensive explanation of the often misunderstood distinctions between anti-virus software and network endpoint security.

SVP Safety, Security, Yachting and Passenger, Inmarsat Maritime, Peter Broadhurst, said: “As the passenger ship fleet heads towards a new regime on cyber security, this is a significant publication for anyone investigating the fast-evolving threats facing cruise vessels and ferries at sea. Anyone wanting to know what the new IMO rules mean and, in Fleet Secure Endpoint, the viable solutions already available to support towards compliance can’t afford to miss Cyber Security requirements for IMO 2021.”

To deepen industry understanding of the new cyber security regime, the report summarises industry exposure to date, identifies the vessel-specific vulnerabilities that have driven regulators to act and explores the precedents from outside and inside the maritime sector for IMO rule development. The context provides a vital preamble to a clear and concise guide to IMO 2021 compliance and the steps required to identify, protect against, detect, respond to, recover from and report on cyberattacks aimed at passenger ships.

Inmarsat provides guidance on Fleet Secure Endpoint (FSE), its cyber security protection, monitoring and reporting tool that can support cruise ship and ferry owners and managers towards compliance. Without additional hardware, FSE’s multi-layered network protection against phishing, spyware, botnets and more updates system status using software on end-user machines.

Cyber Security requirements for IMO 2021 focuses on FSE as a critical component in Total IT Best Practice for compliance, rather than providing a compliance solution in its own right. It highlights Inmarsat’s role as partner to Maritime Cyber Security Awareness training developed for Stapleton International by MLA College, which is also available to FSE users.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index