Maritime Day on May 22 recognizes one of our country’s most important and evolving industries. From tourism and recreation, to shipping barges, to national defense, maritime is a critical component in many parts of the nation’s infrastructure. Maritime has seen rapid change in the last few years: while the global pandemic led to disruption and delays across supply chains, it also resulted in an uptick and increased reliance on digitization within the industry, leaving maritime systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Across Oceans and Decades: What is National Maritime Day?
Launched 90 years ago by Congress, the first Maritime Day helped commemorate the initial transoceanic voyage of a steamship in 1819, completed by the S.S. Savannah.
In a recent proclamation, President Biden noted: “During times of both peace and war, merchant mariners are always there—stepping up to transport equipment, troops, and goods across the globe to make our country safer and stronger.” Biden emphasized that the administration is committed to historic investments to improve U.S. maritime supply chains by making it easier, faster, cheaper, cleaner, and safer for ships to get in and out of U.S. ports.
Standards for Smooth Sailing, Personnel, and Cyber Security
The growing use of industrial control systems, software, and satellite within the maritime industry provides opportunities for cybercriminals to infiltrate and disrupt systems.
“In today’s digital-first environment, customers depend on ‘just in time’ (JIT) supply chains to track business links with partners and shipped goods,” according to the research paper, “COVID-19 digitization in maritime: understanding cyber risks.” The report emphasizes the outcomes of cybercrime, noting that while JIT is cost cutting, cyber-attacks can cause operational shut downs and lead to disruptions that ripple throughout systems and networks.
A 2021 U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command report on cybersecurity trends in the maritime industry sheds more light on the issue, revealing that the number of reported cybersecurity incidents increased 68 percent from 2020, as cyber-criminals are now using, “more advanced tactics, techniques, and procedures including focused ransomware attacks in multi-extortion style campaigns with hopes of ensuring a higher, more guaranteed payout.”
Did you know that standards can help support systems and the people who use them across the maritime industry?
An example is ASTM F3449-20, Standard Guide for Inclusion of Cyber Risks into Maritime Safety Management Systems in Accordance with IMO Resolution MSC.428(98)―Cyber Risks and Challenges, designed to provide the maritime industry guidance, information, and options for incorporating cyber elements into safety management systems (SMS) in accordance with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code and other U.S. and international requirements. The standard was developed by ASTM International Subcommittee F25.07 on General Requirements.
Shifting gears to vessel operations, ASTM F1510-07, Standard Specification for Rotary Positive Displacement Pumps, Ships Use, defines the requirements applicable to design and construction of rotary positive displacement pumps for shipboard use. The standard was developed by ASTM International Subcommittee F25.11 on Machinery and Piping Systems, and is one of several standards that supports maritime equipment and facilities.
In addition to supporting ship parts and cyber safety, standards also support maritime personnel security. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 8, Ships and marine technology, developed ISO/PAS 28007:2012, Ships and marine technology - Guidelines for Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSC), which gives guidelines containing additional sector-specific recommendations. Organizations that comply with ISO 28000 can implement these guidelines to demonstrate that they provide Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) onboard ships. The U.S. Coast Guard is the ANSI-accredited Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to ISO TC 8.
Learn more about the origins of National Maritime Day via the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s webpage.