Tapiit Launch Cyber Security Maritime Training Course


Richard Turner Tapiit

Richard Turner, CEO of Tapiit Group

Isle of Man Maritime Member, Tapiit Live, who are the first maritime technology business to provide live-streamed, interactive training at sea, has launched a new course to protect individuals and vessels from serious and potentially life-threatening incidents of cyber crime.

Increased internet availability, greater use of personal devices, and the mass of data communicated to and from seaborn vessels expose seafarers and maritime organisations to significant risks that the course seeks to highlight and address. Ships have been made to run aground or even disappear from radar screens as a result of ‘hacking’, in addition to the direct risk posed to individuals in having their identities or assets stolen.

Launched in partnership with Corporate Risk Consultants, Expol, it will provide seafarers with training that combines the benefits of live tutor interaction with Expol’s specific open-source investigations and cyber-crime expertise. The ex-police detective and qualified training practitioner team at Expol, who have designed and will deliver the course, are experts in computer forensics and have decades of on-the-ground experience of how cyber criminals operate and how individuals and organisations can mitigate the threats they pose. Based on the Isle of Man, Expol are also the lead investigators and training provider for the Isle of Man Ship Registry.

The course launch follows the International Maritime Organisations (IMO)’s Safety Committee Regulation that mandates maritime organisations to put in place measures that support effective cyber risk management. It has been designed to instil caution and ensure all members of an organisation understand the catastrophic risks involved with cyber-crime at sea, and that the easiest way to access onboard systems is via individuals.

The course has been officially endorsed by the Isle of Man Ship Registry. Toby Brooks, Deputy Director at Isle of Man Ship Registry, says:

“IOM Ship Registry is pleased to endorse Tapiit Live and Expol’s Cyber Awareness training, which provides a good base level knowledge on Cyber Security to help protect our seafarers, ship owners and operators, as well as shore-based staff.”

Rob Kinrade, Director at Expol, says as technology has evolved, the risks and impacts of cyber-crime have increased dramatically:

“With extensive onboard internet availability, increased use of devices and virtual assistant AI technology, added to the masses of data coming out of vessels and cloud-based navigation, tracking, emergency signalling and performance technology, without thorough training it is very easy for anyone – shoreside or onboard – to be tricked.

“Successful cyber attacks have enabled vessel theft and literally grounded ships and rendered them invisible – as radars and systems used to power engines can be accessed and attacked remotely,” he says. “Hacking is no longer in the realm of ‘nerdy’ hackers working from their bedrooms, rather it is a central element of organised crime, and even state-sponsored warfare.”

Courses are created bespoke to each organisation, and will include easily digestible ‘dos and don’ts’, password, WIFI and device safety advice, cyber terminology, relevant legislation, and information on viruses, worms, Trojans and phishing attacks.

Richard Turner, Tapiit Live CEO, says livestreaming sets this course apart:

“We cannot underestimate the critical – and increasing – importance of cyber crime. While I welcome the IMO guidelines, as an ex-Captain I am concerned that mandatory training will result in ‘tick box’ training where seafarers do the course in their own time, as quickly as possibly – without engaging with the content.

“Livestreaming means being in a room with course tutors who can ask questions in a common language and assess whether all elements have been understood. Seafarers can also ask about their specific circumstances – directly to qualified experts. This is invaluable in terms of engagement and the propensity to impact behaviours.”