Modern sea going vessels are a complex blend of interdependent technologies assisting with navigation, engineering and communications. A number of independent researchers and industry organisations have identified maritime cyber maturity as low, with limited awareness of the issue by key stakeholders. Sea-going vessels have the potential to be targeted for cyber attacks for a number of reasons including facilitating piracy, political activism, nation state conflict and being targeted unintentionally by a random attack. As with other risks to vessel safety, a successful cyber attack has the potential to cause a range of impacts starting with a loss of revenue, but also potentially serious consequences such as a grounding or collision that results in loss of the vessel, injury, loss of life or environmental damage.
The guest and the host currently supervise a PhD student in this area and are looking to expand and develop the project and research in the area further. During the visit they will work together on the existing project in assisting in data collection through visiting industry stakeholders in the context of understanding their preparedness in the presence of these cyber risks. This visit will aim to build on this work by also including substantial work towards a grant application for submission in early 2019. This is a primary objective for the visit.
During the visit development and piloting of a new Maritime IT course will also be undertaken. This course is primarily intended for any person/seafarer onboard and also prepares them for working as an IT manager. The course will review the common on board systems, focusing on the identification and analysis of failures and faults in these systems. The course will aim to equip the students to gain an strong understanding of the security of these systems, in the context of increasingly autonomous systems. The course will review policy and regulatory frameworks and managerial level administration tasks.