The newly-launched Guide includes guidance on maximising uptime and mitigating cyber vulnerabilities of onboard networks and automated systems. The comprehensive guide covers the design, deployment and ongoing operational management of shipboard ICT systems.

Onboard crew today has to deal with a digitalized environment, similar to the onshore environment, as they operate on computers, laptops, scanners and printers.

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Therefore, it is crucial that the ICT is clear and easy-to-use, keeping in mind that the users will be working out at sea and will be far away from an ICT support system. As a result, when creating an ICT it is important to think that with the ship usually at sea, physical access to the ship’s system will be difficult, while digital access will depend on connectivity.

In addition, Inmarsat's guide outlines how to design a software environment that prioritises uptime but is also easy to maintain long-term in terms of management and planning for upgrades.

The guide also refers to remote access to onboard systems being the most important tool for managing ICT assets on a fleet operating globally, as cyber security is a hot topic these days, given that more and more vessels are impacted.

For cyber-security reasons, extra care should be taken when granting remote access rights to external application vendors.

Focusing on cyber security, the Guide highlights the importance of crew education and drills, and approaches to IT system lockdown/hardening.

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