Atlantic Offshore adds cyber protection to bandwidth upgrade

North Sea operator Atlantic Offshore has adopted the Fleet Secure Endpoint system from Inmarsat to protect its offshore support vessels against cyber threats, to be rolled out as an element of a Fleet Xpress bandwidth upgrade being implemented across its fleet.

All of the vessels will now have access to maximum upload/download speeds of 4MBps/2MBps, with the Ka-band/L-band system delivering committed information rates of 256kbps. With this greater level of connectivity Atlantic Offshore has also opted to bolster its cyber defences to protect its ship networks as the upgrade is rolled out.

“The shift towards digitalisation, crew welfare needs and demand for greater vessel efficiency are all drivers for reviewing and upgrading our ship-shore connectivity needs,” said Roy Wareberg, CEO, Atlantic Offshore.

“Meeting next year’s IMO cyber security rules in the same step was an opportunity too good to miss.”

As the name suggests, Fleet Secure Endpoint defends ship networks at their vulnerable ‘endpoints’, which can be anything from a vessel operations PC to a crew laptop. The cyber system scans the network to remove malicious encryption, block blacklisted websites, and avoid malicious connections, and also includes integrated anti-spyware/anti-phishing software.

Only specified trusted endpoints are permitted to interact with the network on board the ship, with new devices labelled as ‘rogue’ until verified. Malware introduced by infected USBs also prompts ‘guardian portal’ intervention.    

“We are seeing data usage on board ship doubling roughly every eight months and owners develop a competitive edge by upgrading connectivity to anticipate crew welfare and vessel operational needs,” says Eric Griffin, Vice President, Offshore & Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime.

“Forward-looking companies such as Atlantic Offshore recognise that the threat from the cybercriminals is also rising, which is why they choose Inmarsat as a secure connectivity provider across all touch points, including endpoints.”

“The Fleet Secure Endpoint Security report gives the owner a clear overview of the security status of the vessel in a format that is fully compliant with IMO 2021.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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