OT cybersecurity company Mission Secure together with Ince, an international legal and professional services firm, announced on Monday the establishment of Ince Maritime for the maritime cybersecurity sector. The integrated legal advisory, business consultancy, and technology offering can help ship owners and operators navigate the sector’s challenges, including IMO 2021 cyber compliance.
Ince Maritime will provide clients with a fully integrated cybersecurity offering that protects on-shore and on-vessel operational technology (OT) networks, safeguards operations, and ensures compliance and business continuity, according to a press statement.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) had adopted in 2017 Resolution MSC.428(98) aimed to address cyber risks in the maritime sector. The IMO resolution aims to address cyber risks as a part of safety management systems within the ISM Code. Under Resolution MSC.428(98), administrators are to ensure their existing safety management systems appropriately address cyber risks by their 2021 annual verification.
The maritime cybersecurity offering consists of a full audit of a company’s existing policies to ensure compliance in line with the new ISM Code for Cyber Security Guidelines (IMO 2021). The IMO Resolution has been designed to standardize and document processes that will reduce the number of maritime cybersecurity incidents on vessels and address people, process and technology from a cybersecurity perspective within the safety management system.
The launch of Ince and Mission Secure’s maritime cybersecurity offering comes at a critical time for the maritime sector. From Jan. 1 this year, all ship owners and managers must ensure that systems and management for handling cybersecurity risks are incorporated into vessels’ safety management systems (SMS) from the date of the next annual audit of the SMS. This requirement to be verified is mandated by IMO and enforced by Port State Control.
Despite this, many organisations are not ready for compliance or do not fully appreciate the full impact and the threat of cyber attacks. Their operations are ripe for a cyber attack and they are exposed commercially, besides failing to comply with the new regulations, creating a real risk of Port State Control detention.
“Of most concern is the fact that even if they are compliant with the latest IMO regulation as well as other industry cybersecurity guidelines, the reality is that they will not be sufficiently protected, particularly from OT cyber attacks,” said Rick Tiene, Mission Secure’s vice president.
Ship owners and managers need to move beyond just basic compliance, and away from a tick-the-box approach to cybersecurity. “By partnering with Ince, we can provide a complete cybersecurity solution for clients that not only ensures compliance, but utilises the very latest, military grade, advanced technology to provide the necessary ongoing protection,” Tiene added.
The implementation of the patented Mission Secure Platform is designed to harden vessels’ control systems networks against cyber threats. The deployment of Mission Secure Managed Services provide 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring, threat hunting, and incident response support to ensure continual vessel resilience for ship owners and managers. Operators also get access to legal and crisis management services in the event of a cyberattack.
Last week, Mission Secure closed its Series B financing round from existing and new investors in North America and Europe, to bring the company’s total funding to date to US$22.5 million.
Mission Secure will use the additional funding to advance technologies in its patented cyber-protection platform and to recruit additional ICS cybersecurity experts to support 24/7 managed services for its expanding global customer base in oil and gas, chemicals, maritime, manufacturing, smart cities, and defense organizations.