Shipowners can secure onboard computers and increase awareness of cyber issues on vessels through additions to a cyber security product portfolio with two new components Inmarsat has added to its maritime cyber security service, Fleet Secure, for improved onboard security and seafarer training.
It has introduced intelligent and multi-layered endpoint security for onboard computers. Fleet Secure Endpoint is based on digital security technology from ESET and powered by Port-IT to protect desktop computers and other systems connected to a vessel’s network.
Fleet Secure Endpoint was developed to remove viruses and prevent hackers from entering computers before damage occurs to onboard endpoints and connected systems.
Inmarsat said it would be available for commercial use from January 2019 and will be compatible across Inmarsat’s portfolio of global maritime satellite communications platforms. These include Fleet Xpress, a Ka-band VSAT solution, FleetBroadband and Fleet One operating over L-band.
Fleet Secure Endpoint will complement the resilient cyber security standards of Inmarsat’s own geostationary satellite and ground network.
Inmarsat has also added a training application for seafarer’s mobile devices. Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness explains to crew the tactics that cyber criminals might employ in attempting to infiltrate a company’s IT infrastructure. Inmarsat worked with Stapleton International and Marine Learning Alliance to launch this product.
Inmarsat constantly monitors changes in cyber security technology to devise new security tools and approaches for addressing potential problems, said Inmarsat Maritime senior vice president for safety and security Peter Broadhurst.
“It is a priority for every ship operator and fleet manager, whether they are shoreside or at sea, to ensure their systems are properly protected,” he said.
“Crew education is an indispensable component in realising a well-rounded security strategy”
Seafarers need to ensure they are not a conduit for malware or hackers. “Crew education is therefore an indispensable component in realising a well-rounded security strategy,” said Mr Broadhurst.
“Many attempts to gain unauthorised access to IT infrastructure require some sort of activation by an end-user to infect a system and cause further damage,” he explained.
“These attacks are often heavily disguised to trick and manipulate end-users into unwittingly granting permission. However, there are nearly always tell-tale signs that, if spotted in time, would prevent escalation.”
Inmarsat has seen huge growth in the number of vessels that use Fleet Xpress for broadband communications, crew welfare services and monitoring onboard systems, which is why it is important to keep all of this cyber secure.
Riviera Maritime Media runs an annual cyber security conference – the European Maritime Cyber Risk Management Summit, in London each year.