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Inmarsat unveils shipping’s first real-time cyber risk monitoring service

Inmarsat unveils shipping’s first real-time cyber risk monitoring service
Fleet Secure, launched at Inmarsat’s London headquarters yesterday, is an all-inclusive, real-time, managed monitoring service, providing shipowners and managers with the cyber security protection needed to guard against malicious attack or malware, detect vulnerabilities, and respond to threats.

The new service will be offered to wholesale partners and other customers and will be embedded in the satellite company’s fastest-growing VSAT service, Fleet Xpress, on which more than 10,000 commercial vessels are now committed. Fleet Secure will not require any additional outlay on hardware and will not affect a customer’s existing contracted bandwidth.

The Fleet Secure Unified Threat Management (UTM) service has been developed in conjunction with Singtel subsidiary Trustwave, a leading US-based information security consultancy which aims to remain a step or two ahead of malicious hackers through a combination of its own “ethical hacking”, forensic investigation and threat intelligence across a range of land-based sectors including finance, retail and hospitality.

Peter Broadhurst, svp safety and security at Inmarsat Maritime, noted the inevitability of cyber crime as a downside of the digital economy. The fact that shipping connectivity is a relatively recent development means that it is a long way behind many other industrial sectors. For this reason, ship operators are particularly vulnerable and yet, it seems, there are those who do not appreciate the scale of the risks.

Some ship owners, for example, do not realise that both hull and machinery and P&I insurance policies specifically exclude any claim relating to cyber attack. Specifically, the Institute Cyber Attack Exclusion Clause (cl 380) states: “In no case shall this insurance cover loss damage liability or expense directly caused by or contributed to by or arising from the use or operation, as a means for inflicting harm, of any computer, computer system, computer software programme, malicious code, computer virus or process or any electronic system.”

Some shipping companies have taken out special cyber cover, Broadhurst said, but owing to the fact that there is little actuarial data for insurers to work on, premiums are often expensive. However, companies adopting robust cyber security protection strategies would be more likely to be quoted favourable premiums, he suggested, noting the importance of crew training which will be a significant challenge and “not merely a box to tick”. Fleet Secure will highlight the need for continuous cyber risk training, Broadhurst said, because human error is a risk that cannot be mitigated.

The new service is available on three levels – gold, silver and bronze – although monthly fees have not yet been revealed. The premium service offers real-time threat monitoring and analysis, including immediate notifications to the customer and high severity threats followed up by telephone to escalate threat management.

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