A constant and growing threat
As it is in the wider world, the maritime industry has never been more keenly aware of the constant threat posed by cyber-crime, and the potentially ruinous consequences if vessel or corporate networks are successfully breached.
Firewalls, business continuity plans and risk management protocols are all key defence mechanisms to protect ourselves in-case of a cyber-attack but with the added safety and environmental concerns for maritime operational, we must be sure that we are protected.
On one level, the introduction of malware viruses by hackers could at the very least interfere with operational procedures, leading to troublesome and expensive delays. Ultimately though, there is a perception, at least in the mainstream, that a vessel’s navigation or cargo control systems could become compromised, resulting in severe environmental consequences.
Beyond this, lies the very real fear that if banking details and sensitive business transactions were no longer secure, companies could see their corporate reputation tarnished and might be leaving themselves open to blackmail – while facing fines on top of that for neglecting to keep employee details private – which is especially important since the introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018.
Secure technology and crew training
The network versus hardware’ debate over relative server security is ongoing: but Cobham SATCOM, as a proven and trusted technology and services innovator at the very forefront of satellite communications, has always worked tirelessly to implement the latest technologies in its ceaseless commitment to data security.
Cobham SATCOM’s SAILOR and Sea Tel technology deploy advanced security architecture and domain segregation measures, and are designed to provide continuous secure data exchange while detecting and preventing cyber-attacks, which could compromise ship operations and the onboard safety of crew and passengers.
Maritime cyber security is not only a technology issue– the shipping industry can contribute significantly to its own defences. Network firewalls, business continuity stratagems, the most up-to-date antivirus software and web content filters all make a powerful contribution towards the effectiveness of secure systems. However, ship owners are also encouraged to follow and offer training for basic security, such as effective use and management of passwords.