Sunday, 14 October 2018

IOT and Ships

Information technology is put to use in almost every activity that humans are concerned about, right from a short message costing a few cents to large ships costing millions. While, it is optimized and scaled, depending on the purpose. IT (information technology) has been widely accepted as an integral factor by mankind for a significantly long time and consequently, humanity has grown into a more advanced and stronger race at exponential rates. We are very much frequently amazed by the cutting-edge technologies that are put out to our service by this exceptional sector of data collection and computational sciences.

Courtesy : Google Images

One such innovative idea that has been here for almost a couple of decades but has recently evolved significantly and still is evolving to have become a buzzword among the technical communities is IOT or the Internet of things.

IOT has been widely accepted as a novel innovation everywhere.It is almost impossible to resist or stay away from its influence given its vast scope and infinite extending possibilities.

What is IOT?

As its name suggests it is connecting things to the internet, things like domestic appliances, electronic actuators, sensing devices, etc. to the internet via certain connectivity hardware. Once connected these devices can be controlled and monitored. The data they generate can be stored and used for big data analyses and research purposes.

Influence of IOT in the shipping industry

Just like any other industry, the maritime industry also extensively uses information services to collectively carry out various operations involved in efficiently maintaining the balance of marine transport and off-shore services. Thus, it is an undeniable fact that the shipping industry has plenty of room for a revolutionary innovation like IOT.

Introduction of IOT in ships will lead to the achievement of a certain level of automation in terms of the process control systems. Further, the shift of controls from the control room to the controller's mobile device will drastically reduce the space requirement for the control room while making the control interface easier and remotely accessible.

 Ships are relatively large floating structures that are in fact sometimes referred to as floating cities sailing in the vast blues. All the data that these ships would generate will be immense in quantitative as well as qualitative terms.

This data can be used in many ways like training optimization models, building autopilot systems and getting insights into the challenges involved in the practical implementation of complete autonomous vessels which in a broader sense has never been done before.


Given all these possibilities, there exists a few significant threats and dangers that need to be carefully studied, analyzed and countered before the application of IOT on ships.

Some of the serious concerns include DDoS (distributed denial of services), vulnerability towards intentional invasive cyber-attacks, self-generated malware issues and data theft.

As claimed by many cyber specialists there is no single permanent solution to cyber security problems. These systems need consistent and efficient monitoring to maintain secure connectivity and protect stored data.

A number of research-intensive studies are being carried out at many organizations to devise secure systems while ensuring user privacy.

It will not be late that we will witness IOT display its significance and carry maritime sector through decentralized connectivity revolution.

Article By- Zia Ur Rahman


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