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Plymouth becomes first UK university to receive MCA accreditation for cyber security course

A new continuing professional development (CPD) course on maritime cyber security is putting the University of Plymouth at the forefront of training the modern seafarer and shipping industry managers.

Plymouth is the first university in the country, and one of just a handful of organisations, to be accredited by the Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to deliver the Cyber Security Awareness course.

Recent years have seen growing interest in both cyber and maritime security, and the potential impact of cyber security issues on the maritime economy is beginning to be understood more fully. National and global bodies like the MCA and the International Maritime Organisation have responded, the latter stipulating in its guidelines that all companies must have cyber security policy in place and provide training to staff from 2021 onwards.

The one-and-a-half day Cyber Security Awareness course has been designed and is run by the University’s Dartmouth Centre for Seapower and Strategy (DCSS), part of the Faculty of Business. It will be delivered at the University’s main campus in Plymouth.

DCSS Director Dr Fotios Moustakis said:

“Cyber security is emerging as a key area in relation to the future of the maritime economy. However, an ongoing piece of research by Chatham House, conducted by Chronis Kapalidis, who is also a Visiting Fellow at DCSS, has indicated that the shipping industry is struggling to get to grips with this new and insidious threat.

“The University of Plymouth’s timely, innovative maritime Cyber Security Awareness course offers a structured means of understanding the risks and vulnerabilities. It also sets out a ‘roadmap’ towards sustainable cyber hygiene within the industry.”

The course is to be integrated into degree programmes in the University’s Plymouth Business School, and is also open to maritime industry professionals from outside the University. Professor Jingjing Xu, Head of Plymouth Business School, said:

“Becoming the first UK university to gain MCA accreditation for this course is a significant achievement, and adds another layer to our range of maritime degree programmes and research in the area. Having this qualification will significantly improve the employability chances of our students and others who complete it.”

More information on the Cyber Security Awareness (MCA) course

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