ABS Chairman delivers keynote address at Coast Guard Foundation awards dinner


Christopher Wiernicki - ABSABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J Wiernicki  (pictured) addressed the Coast Guard Foundation at the 2016 Pacific Area Awards Dinner in San Francisco on FridaY, as a keynote speaker.

Expressing pride in the long, shared history between the US Coast Guard (USCG) and ABS, Mr Wiernicki recognised USCG leadership in cybersecurity as a regulatory agency and described how cybersecurity has been expanded to a holistic safety approach at ABS.

“In surveying our clients, ABS confirmed that cyber as a safety issue is among their top concerns,” Mr Wiernicki said.

“That prompted our expansion of the ABS CyberSafety programme, which is the industry’s first risk-based management programme with actionable best practice approaches to four key cyber areas, including cybersecurity, automated systems safety, data integrity and software verification.”

With this extensive programme, he said: “We are defining the absolute value of safety.”

ABS helps organisations build and assess ship-to-shore cyber management capabilities by developing practical guidelines including Guidance Notes, Guides with optional notations, and advisories to address the issue of cyber threats to ships and offshore assets as well as shore-based facilities.

“ABS is continuously focused on the next generation of safety systems that extends well beyond the hardware,” he said.

Mr Wiernicki concluded with a commitment on the part of ABS to continue working with the USCG to help the maritime industry develop cyber resilience and to move cybersecurity and cybersafety forward, calling it a “shared responsibility.”

ABS understands the value in this collaboration, Mr Wiernicki said.

“When we work together to secure our systems – whether on land or at sea – the more secure future we’ll see, and the safer we’ll all be.” The clear objective, he said, is a greater degree of safety.

For 45 years, the Coast Guard Foundation has been committed to inspiring leadership, education and a proud legacy of service to our nation by supporting the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. The Foundation provides college scholarships to enlisted members, their spouses and their children, scholarships and support for families of Coast Guard members lost in the line of duty, and support for morale programs, including funding recreation, exercise and family-oriented facilities. The Coast Guard Foundation is headquartered in Stonington, Connecticut, where it maintains a staff of 13, with regional offices in the New York City area and St Petersburg, Florida. To learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation or to help support its work, please visit www.coastguardfoundation.org