“Permacrisis” was Collins English Dictionary’s 2022 Word of the Year, as countries around the world faced and continue to face an abundance of growing issues and concerns. Defined as “an extended period of instability and insecurity”, the term sums up past events and aptly describes general sentiment with global recession looming.
Now more than ever, customers look for trusted partners they can weather the storm with. It comes as no surprise that businesses look for smart, efficient, and cost-effective solutions to survive and even thrive during an economic downturn. As ransomware attacks hit all-time highs in 2022 – with no signs of abating – businesses will need to carefully decide which companies they will entrust their business-critical assets to. This decision is imperative to avoid costly mistakes.
The adage could not be more true when considering the responsibility that comes with processing and storing important information. Legislation such as GDPR and the NIS Directive in the EU aims at instilling this sense of responsibility in regard to stewardship of information. So are the maritime and energy industries introducing standards that mimic cyber legislation and enforce cyber security requirements.
To ensure Wärtsilä continues to be recognised as a trusted partner for thousands of customers worldwide, it has embarked on an ambitious programme to certify its information systems and products alike.
Together with auditing and certification partners such as Securious, Wärtsilä achieved 10 different Cyber Security Certifications for its information systems in 2022. Cyber Essentials is a prominent certification scheme required by the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom. This scheme provides a level of trust that all requirements have been effectively implemented and tested.
Wärtsilä was one of our first Cyber Essentials clients way back in 2014 - they were a very early adopter of the certification and are industry pioneers for cyber security. We are now helping them with 10 certifications per year, including one Cyber Essentials Plus. We’ve always been impressed by Wärtsilä’s commitment to cyber security and look forward to continuing to work with them to help them achieve certification and ensure best practices are embedded in their systems as they continue to grow.
In addition to already achieving a wide variety of cyber certifications, Wärtsilä is also progressively implementing ISO 27001 to not only assure the cyber security of its information systems but also the management thereof. In turn, this supports Wärtsilä’s ecosystem in meeting cyber security requirements across the value chain.
Equally business-critical are the cyber security certifications and market compliance of products. The days when cyber security was an afterthought for marine or energy installations are long over.
In the marine market, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) published requirements in 2022 in the form of IACS UR E26 and E27. These mandatory requirements raise the cyber bar for all new vessels starting from 1 January 2024. Wärtsilä is committed to meeting the requirements that IACS has put forward and it has been working in this space already for years. This has been recognized through various product certifications, such as those awarded by ABS and Lloyd’s Register for Wärtsilä WDCU data collector and others in final stretch.
Similarly, for energy installations, examples of Wärtsilä’s commitment to cyber security are visible in the IEC 62443 certification that was awarded to GEMS Power Plant Controller already in 2020. The IEC 62443 standard forms the basis of Wärtsilä’s cyber security work in the energy sector.
As cyber security becomes increasingly important, site and vessel owners need partners who can deliver products and services that are designed with cyber security in mind.
Certifying information systems and products alike demonstrates responsibility and commitment to a cybersecure business ecosystem.