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Maritime Cybersecurity 

As the worldwide shipping industry becomes increasingly dependent on highly sophisticated technical equipment and software to keep it operating efficiently, it also becomes more vulnerable to the risks that cyber attacks pose.

Vessels and ports can be crippled by malware, system failures and other malicious cyber activities. That’s why maritime cyber security must take a careful look at how to best protect and inform mariners who rely on technology to assist them with everything from navigation and engine control to cargo and shoreside management issues.

Some of the major factors that make maritime cybersecurity such a timely topic are the proliferation of automated systems aboard ship, the integration of multiple systems, the growing ability to remotely monitor systems and the fact that all of these systems rely on the internet for their connectivity.

Consider this: The Internet of Things (IoT) can help a smart home run more efficiently while simultaneously making it vulnerable to hackers looking to disable its security system and steal its occupants’ personal data. Vessels that rely on advanced technology can be equally vulnerable. That’s why maritime cybersecurity is as much about embracing new technology as it is about being aware of the susceptibilities that come with that technology.

Maritime Cyber Security Course

In association with cybersecurity expert Dan Turissini, KP ’81 and Maritime TV, the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) offers a five-day course on shipboard and shoreside technology and management issues related to Maritime Cybersecurity.

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Cyber Security Training

The course expands on mariners’ critical thinking skills to embrace information that the cyber community considers crucial to the efficient management of technical issues aboard ship. Building on topics introduced in the “Cyber-Skilled Mariner” program series by Maritime TV, the course explores — through lectures, discussions and student-led presentations — the following subjects as they relate to cybersecurity:


  • Quantitative risk analysis
  • Considerations in bridge communications, operations and navigation
  • Involvement in cargo operations and network sensors
  • Connection to engine room operations and shipboard IT networks
  • Association with port operations and vessel interface
  • Relationship to passenger ships, network IT and passenger data
  • The human factors of credentialing, regulations and TWIC®
  • Shaping the future of the maritime industry through autonomous vessels, blockchain and more


In addition to helping mariners make better, more informed decisions with regard to maintaining robust cyber hygiene aboard ship, the course encourages students to influence the industry and its vendors. It does so by offering them the chance to — through presentations — discuss current cybersecurity issues and suggest how hardware and software makers can better support the maritime industry in solving cybersecurity problems moving forward.

Lessons From the Course

Through lectures, discussions and mini-projects/presentations split between morning and afternoon sessions over the course of five days, students will learn early detection methods and risk analysis of cybersecurity threats as they relate to maritime systems and shipboard information.

In addition, they’ll learn how to better ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data their IT systems generate, handle and store. They’ll also explore the legal, moral and ethical ramifications of threats to the online maritime ecosystem, as well as best practices and countermeasures regarding its protection.

For more information on the Maritime Cyber Security Course or any other courses offered by MITAGS-PMI, please contact us today.