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Cyber shipping – LR issues technical guidance for ship design in a digital age

Deploying information and communications technology in shipping

Posted on: 22 February 2016

Lloyd’s Register’s has issued a new guidance aimed to provide the shipping industry with a route map to understanding the implications of digital technology. This approach to assurance, according to LR’s Luis Benito “is about the potential for the industry to embrace the safety and performance benefits that technology now offers. This is about much more than cyber security.”

As a trusted provider of safety assurance to the marine industry, LR is ready to help all stakeholders in the cyber-enabled ship market ensure that Information and communications technology (ICT) is deployed safely. This is the first edition of LR’s guidance to clients on cyber-enabled ships and is the result of detailed work and consultation with industry and academia.

A cyber-enabled ship will consist of multiple, interconnected systems. Due to the rapid pace of technology development prescriptive approaches to risk management are not suitable. Instead, a ‘total systems’ approach is required taking into account all systems on board and – critically – on shore, how they are designed and installed, how they connect, and how they will be managed.

LR describes a non-prescriptive, risk-based process. From the earliest concept stage, through on board integration, to operation, it is based on LR’s extensive experience of system design and installation on board ships and on other marine platforms.

LR explains what is meant by cyber systems and looks at their impact on shipping. The guidance describes six key areas of risk that need to be considered and addressed in order to assure safety and dependability: systems, human-systems, software, network and communications, data assurance, and cyber-security. The guidance illustrates LR’s risk-based assurance process, which culminates in system appraisal and, ultimately, issue of approval in principle (AiP).

References are made in each section to the relevant ISO and IEC standards and the LR Rules that govern and guide the requirements for ICT systems. The guidance will be supported with full ShipRight Procedures for cyber-enabled ships. These will goal-based addressing all the requirements for detailed system design.

Luis Benito, LR’s Marine Marketing Director, commented: “ICT is revolutionising shipping, ushering in a new era – an era of the cyber-enabled ship. Today, leading manufacturers and ship operators want or have the potential to innovate using the latest ICT systems, going beyond traditional engineering to create ships with enhanced monitoring, communication and connection capabilities – ships that can be accessed by remote onshore services, anytime and anywhere for safety and performance benefits.

“We are here to provide the assurance required to develop a safe, dependable, cyber capability in shipping.” Download LR’s guidance on cyber-enabled ships now at

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