South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) plans to help shipowners step up their cybersecurity readiness after obtaining certification for a new smart ship solution.
As cases of cyberattacks in the maritime industry increase, the South Korean shipbuilder has said it intends to start installing its DSME Smartship Solutions (DS4) in ships after obtaining approval from the ‘American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).
DS4 is designed to protect ship data and software from hacking and will be installed in more than 30 ships. With approval, DSME can install the solutions in ships without additional cybersecurity assessment.
“We believe this certification will serve as a cornerstone in advancing the era of autonomous ships,” said Choi Dong-kyu, director of the R&D institute at DSME.
DSME will become the first shipbuilding company to achieve Product Design Assessment (PDA) certification from ABS in cybersecurity.
South Korea is determined to be a world leader in the development of autonomous vessels. The technology was touted as the next generation of high value-added ships, designed to replace crew decision making with intelligent, autonomous systems through the convergence of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, big data and sensors.
However, the push towards smart ships faces risks of cyber attacks. Globally, cases of cyber attacks targeting shipping companies, port authorities and port infrastructure are on the rise. DSME itself was targeted in June, when hackers attempted to break into the company’s computer systems.
Ransomware attacks against shipping companies tripled between 2019 and 2020, with the world’s four largest shipping companies – Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA CGM, and COSCO – all being victims in the past four years.
MSC suffered a network outage in April 2020 due to a malware attack, while CMA CGM was hit by a ransomware attack in September 2020. Even the International Maritime Organization has recently been the target of a cyber attack , forcing some of its services offline.
“To date, most cyber incidents involving shipping have been incidents on land, such as attacks on ports and the shipping companies themselves. and the Allianz Shipping Review 2021 report.