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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Cyber solution and VSAT contract unveiled

Tue 11 Dec 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Cyber solution and VSAT contract unveiled
Speedcast's Cybersecurity as a Service can identify malware and prevent these bugs from infecting IT on ships

A security service has been launched in response to increasing risks of vessels coming under attack from cyber threats.

Speedcast International introduced its Cybersecurity as a Service solution to protect vessel and drilling rig owners, operators and managers from growing cyber threats including phishing, pharming, ransomware and malware. This service defends maritime assets, detects and monitors threats and mitigates the risk of cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity as a Service combines a unified threat management system and end-point protection. It can secure maritime and remote sites linked to online services over satellite communications.

“Cybersecurity as a Service provides advanced cyber security applications and best-in-class services, enabling our customers to proactively control cyber threats,” said Speedcast executive vice president for products and business development Tim Bailey.

He explained why maritime companies need this type of cyber security. “Companies are undergoing digital transformation and implementing automation across all levels of their organisations,” said Mr Bailey.

Speedcast’s security operations centre proactively monitors the protection level of customer sites. It provides alerts and reports, then protects maritime assets from malicious threats. Cybersecurity as a Service can be operated from remote sites or vessels and runs on Speedcast’s integrated communication platforms, Sigma Gateway and Sigma Gateway Xtreme.

It will be available to fleets of commercial ships, workboats, offshore oil and gas production platforms, floating production systems and drilling rigs worldwide.

This service introduction came a week after industry organisations jointly published cyber security guidance to shipping. Bimco, Intertanko, Intercargo, OCIMF, the World Shipping Council and others collaborated on the project.

The third edition of the Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships covers adding cyber risks to a ship's safety management system, risk assessments for operational technology and offers guidance for onboard cyber security threats arising from the external supply chain. 

Also this week, Speedcast announced it had secured a new multi-year contract, valued at more than US$10M from an Asia-based operator of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) systems, fixed production platforms and drilling rigs.

For these, Speedcast is providing fully-managed VSAT communications across Asia. This includes VSAT tailored to the specific requirements for each asset, which replaces the existing services and hardware.

These services use advanced C-band VSAT from multiple satellites that deliver redundant coverage. Speedcast is providing a dedicated single carrier per channel (SCPC) network to ensure security, reliability and network efficiency on each asset.

This unnamed customer will use C-band SCPC services on its FPSOs, drilling rigs and production platforms deployed in multiple countries in Asia for fast connectivity to online services, voice and video streaming and high-volume data transfers, plus other requirements.

Meanwhile, Speedcast expects to complete its acquisition of rival VSAT service provider Globecomm Systems before the end of this year. It has received approvals from various authorities, the latest from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which determined there were no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the acquisition.

Speedcast announced this US$135M acquisition in August this year as a way to quickly increase its market share of maritime satellite communications.


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