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USMRC offers cyber awareness course for mariners

Mar 16, 2017 09:33 AM

The Web course focuses on vulnerabilities to onboard networks and control systems

The following is the text of a news release from the United States Maritime Resource Center (USMRC):

(MIDDLETOWN, R.I.) — The United States Maritime Resource Center has launched a new e-learning course, Cyber Awareness for Mariners. This is the first training course of its kind for mariners on maritime cyber.   

Cyber Awareness for Mariners provides mariners aboard any vessel with a better understanding of common vulnerabilities to onboard computer-based networks and industrial control systems to include both operational and information technologies (OT/IT). It also offers tested and effective guidance to help prevent onboard cyber disruptions.

The course is an interactive, Web-based learning experience designed “by mariners, for mariners,” and built directly from the industry’s first evidence-based research effort, the USMRC Maritime Cyber Assurance Research program.

Vessel owners and operators, as well as ship management and crew staffing companies, also will benefit from the course, which is derived from actual onboard research and analysis in the marine industrial environment, across numerous vessel types and a wide range of cargo, passenger and specialized operations. 

“Our goal is to continuously provide the best and most current information to not only raise awareness, but also help build a more comprehensive understanding of cyber-risks to maritime, which is a critical factor in risk management and assurance,” said Capt. Alex Soukhanov, USMRC’s founder and director of the Maritime Cyber Assurance Research program.

For the past year, USMRC has included Cyber Awareness for Mariners as an additional module in its U.S. Coast Guard-approved, in-residence Bridge Resource Management, ECDIS, and Leadership and Managerial Skills courses.

Training is a fundamental element of any risk management and safety program. This training is a valuable resource available to meet the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Interim Draft Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Risk Management, which call for the “urgent need to raise awareness on cyber-risk threats and vulnerabilities.” Additionally, BIMCO’s “Guidelines on Cybersecurity Onboard Ships” strongly recommends cyber-awareness training for both shipboard and shore-side staffs throughout the document.

The registration fee for the Cyber Awareness for Mariners e-learning course has been fixed at $75. For U.S.-based registrations, a portion of those fees also is tax deductible for federal income tax purposes as USMRC is a 501(c)(3) public charity. More importantly, all proceeds from the course registrations support the advancement and acceleration of the USMRC Maritime Cyber Assurance Research program for the benefit of the industry. More information is available at www.usmrc.org

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