Satnews Daily
September 21st, 2016

Maritime & Satellite Industries Coordinate Cyber-Security Strategies

Drawing upon the combined expertise of the SATCOM and maritime sectors in order to identify key elements of strategies that enhance network integrity, maritime cyber security was examined on September 8th at Digital Ship's 2nd Maritime Cyber Risk & Safety Forum at the SMM event.

With leadership from Global VSAT Forum (GVF), critical technologies used for navigation at sea—including GPS (Global Positioning System), AIS (Automatic Identification System), and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System)—were examined as being among the primary systems being defended from attempted cyber attacks. The panelists also revealed the increased threats influencing decisions made by companies and what strategies are being employed by those in the maritime connectivity sector to address these risks, as well as what opportunities are emerging.

The GVF expert forum evaluated how industry is reacting to increased cyber threats born out of the growing use of Cloud and “Internet of Things” (IoT) applications, the number of devices used, and larger ships with smaller crews—which requires greater reliance on automation and remote monitoring. Policies, guidelines and best practices were central to the discussion, as well as how industry can identify, quantify and mitigate cyber risk.

GVF and Digital Ship brought together end users with suppliers, cyber and security experts to discuss and debate these questions during the highly interactive and focused panel. Among other conclusions, the forum highlighted the continuing need for holistic approaches that address…

  • Awareness of new requirements arising from widely connected networks and devices
  • Understanding current networks, applications, and services, particularly when addressing the navigation aids
  • Cyber-security considerations made during the design of networks and applications, and when auditing navigation tools to validate high resilience levels

The forum’s recommendations have now been referred to the GVF Cyber Security Task Force, where industry experts will continue to refine strategies and promote even stronger collaboration among cyber-security stakeholders in maritime and other satellite communications user groups.
New cyber-security innovations are being applied to reinforce maritime SATCOMs and navigation,” said the session’s Chairman, Dr. Julián Seseña, who serves as GVF’s Spanish Affiliate and as an executive of the Holistic Innovation Institute. “Understanding how to collaboratively leverage those innovations will continue to be key to the success of our sectors.”