Inmarsat combats rising maritime cybercrime with Fleet Secure Unified Threat Management

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April 26, 2022

Inmarsat Maritime positioned as single-vendor solution provider for ship cyber security

Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has launched Fleet Secure Unified Threat Management (UTM), as a standard option on Inmarsat’s award-winning Fleet Xpress service, protecting vessel networks against cyberattacks.

Fleet Secure UTM completes a portfolio of Inmarsat cyber security solutions for ship owners, which includes Fleet Secure Endpoint and Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness Training. Developed in partnership with maritime Cyber Security specialist Port-IT, the resilience of Fleet Secure UTM protection is based on its consolidation of multiple network security tools in a single application.

With cyberattacks on global businesses increasing by 40% in 2021*, Inmarsat reports a tripling in data used by the average commercial ship since the onset of Covid-19. The growth reflects extra demand for crew connectivity but also increasing use of data to monitor vessel performance, optimize decision-making and support predictive maintenance.

The result is a growing ship network ‘surface area’ for attacks that offers a route to onboard control systems. Cyber threats are also fast-evolving, as cybercriminals develop malicious codes to probe for new weaknesses. Successful attacks threaten vessel safety, disrupt services and expose sensitive information. They also bring the costs of extortion, recovery, and higher insurance.

Depending on user preferences, Fleet Secure UTM capabilities can include gateway anti-virus software, intrusion detection, and prevention, web-content filtering, and application control. However, all Fleet Secure UTM users get asset management, alerting, and reporting capability that fully aligns with International Maritime Organization 2021 compliance on cyber security risk management.

“The benefits of big data and artificial intelligence for ship efficiency, safety, and sustainability are clear, while Covid-19 has highlighted crew connectivity as a crucial issue for our industry,” said Ben Palmer, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “Safeguarding these gains demands cyber awareness and training, endpoint protection, and the layered defences of network protection. With Fleet Secure UTM, Inmarsat is now able to meet all of these requirements as a single vendor.”

Fleet Secure UTM features its own security portal, allowing customers to monitor traffic in all connected networks to protect operational technology (OT), Internet of Things (IoT) and crew communications, among others, and mitigate risks, supported by a security operation centre (SOC) which monitors devices and the service itself year-round, 24/7. Issues not directly relating to Fleet Xpress are escalated to Port-IT for further action. A team of Port-IT ethical hackers also continuously probes networks for vulnerabilities.

‘Bronze’, ‘silver’, and ‘gold’ versions of Fleet UTM are available, and the ‘gold’ user can access advanced AI-based scanning for malicious codes beyond known signatures, to block ‘zero day’ attacks. The threat hunting function in the gold package adds an additional layer of cyber threat intelligence to predict future risks and establish a relevant elimination plan.

“The relationship between Port-IT and Inmarsat is longstanding and we are delighted to work together in the critical area of ship network security,” said Youri Hart, CEO, Port-IT. “The user-friendly Fleet Secure UTM dashboard offers a gateway to the latest AI-based techniques, ethical hacking, and continuous support to combat the cybercriminals.”

Installed on a ‘plug and play’ basis in the Fleet Xpress server rack, Fleet Secure UTM is equally straightforward to fit onboard existing and new build ships, subject to authorisation by Inmarsat Solution Engineering.

*Checkpoint Research reports 40% increase in Cybercrimes https://blog.checkpoint.com/2021/10/06/as-battle-against-cybercrime-continues-during-cybersecurity-awareness-month-check-point-research-reports-40-increase-in-cyberattacks/

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