Pacific Gas has upgraded its connectivity to support its ambitious growth strategy and to comply with new cyber-risk regulations
Initially acquiring second-hand tonnage when it launched in 2013, Pacific Gas has quickly grown to become the largest liquid ethylene gas (LEG) shipowner in China, providing integrated supply chain services for a full range of clean energy and derivative by-products in the international market.
While Pacific Gas offers capacity to carry 3M tonnes of cargo annually, it has already announced plans to expand into the LNG carrier and VLEC segments and add Houston to existing offices in Shanghai, Singapore and Mumbai.
Furthermore, it is also expanding through collaboration. In March, Pacific Gas Pte (Singapore) and Greater Bay Gas Ltd (HK) joined with Navigator Holdings Ltd to form the Luna Pool, focusing on the ocean transportation of liquefied petrochemical gas (LPG) cargoes. With a specific emphasis on the carriage of ethylene and ethane, the Luna Pool has a combined fleet of 14 handysize vessels, ranging in capacities between 17,000 m3 and 22,000 m3.
“The risks of a cyberattack on a vessel extend beyond the loss of reputation”
With its rising market presence, Pacific Gas has committed to upgrading its fleet’s connectivity to improve resource planning and meet impending international regulations. It chose the bandwidth, coverage, guaranteed performance and 24/7 support available via Inmarsat Fleet Xpress for its fleet. Additionally, Pacific Gas selected Fleet Secure Endpoint to provide protection against cyber-attacks and meet IMO 2021 cyber-risk regulations.
Cyber resilience at sea
Pacific Gas says it is aware that always-on connectivity and greater commitment to digitalisation requires increased protection against the cybercriminals.
“With our growing dependence on technology and providing open internet access we could be susceptible to cyberattacks, so we need more than a conventional anti-virus to protect our systems 24/7 and from the various kinds of evolving threats,” says Pacific Gas vice president fleet Captain Tao Yong.
Inmarsat’s new line of defence against cybercrime, Fleet Secure Endpoint monitors ship systems for security breaches introduced at ‘endpoints’, either by malicious software or by a new crew device with no security installed, reporting a ‘rogue node’ and isolating it from the rest of the network until issue resolution.
Where generic anti-virus software protects against spyware and phishing, Fleet Secure Endpoint includes a two-way firewall, web control, botnet protection, ransomware prevention, multi-engine scanning, network monitoring and asset inventory functions. It also includes its own health status alerting. Fleet Secure Endpoint can be applied to FleetBroadband and Fleet One, as well as Fleet Xpress.
Inmarsat senior vice president safety and security Peter Broadhurst, says Pacific Gas sees “the risks of a cyberattack on a vessel extend beyond the loss of reputation; they include the risk of delays to the ship and cargo delivery, increased insurance premiums and blackmail.”
Fleet Secure Endpoint will also support shipowners in their efforts to comply with International Safety Management (ISM) code revisions due in force from 1 January 2021. Mr Broadhurst says: “In practice, ISM code revisions will mean that, to comply, ships must be able to demonstrate what assets, personnel and procedures are in place onboard and ashore to deal with cyber-risk issues, what happens if systems are compromised and who has control. Compliance will depend on having the right risk management, infrastructure and procedures in place.”