As day-to-day operations at sea become ever more reliant on information and communication technology (ICT), mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat has published a practical guide to help ship managers build onboard networks that are resilient and reliable.
The Best Practice Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Recommendations, published by the Inmarsat Research Program, offers guidance on maximizing uptime and minimising cyber-vulnerabilities of onboard networks and automated systems. Available on the Inmarsat website, the guide covers the design, deployment and ongoing operational management of shipboard ICT systems.
The new guide outlines how to design a software environment that prioritizes uptime but is also easy to maintain long-term in terms of management and planning for upgrades. It offers a framework for developing IT policy and advice on best practice record-keeping for audits such as the OCIMF Tanker Management Self-Assessment scheme. Other topics include satellite connection options, IoT applications and crew access, and even the benefits of virtual servers/workstations for scalability and speedier recovery after failure.
Guidance is also provided covering expectations for cyber-security, in the context of coming revisions to the International Ship Management code. In fact, cyber-security is explored from multiple perspectives, including crew education and drills, and approaches to IT system lockdown/hardening.