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Developments in connectivity and the transfer of big data between sea and shore continue to bring significant gains for fleet management efficiency and crew welfare, but they also increase the vulnerability of critical systems onboard vessels to cyber-attacks. 

In Inmarsat’s 2022 Beyond Compliance report, it was quoted that in recent times cyber-attacks targeting the maritime sector increased by 168% in the Asia-Pacific region alone, especially with the rapid pace of digitalisation in the maritime industry through new technologies. 

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Best practices for cyber security

To ensure the resilience of digital infrastructure, shipping companies need to look beyond regulatory compliance and be more proactive in their approach to cyber risk management.

By adopting new provisions into the ISM Code that, for the first time, embedded cyber risk management into safety management systems (SMS) for merchant ships, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) provided a clear anchor point for ship operators to benchmark their vulnerability to cyber threats.

Settling for the standard compliance should not be the only option. A continuous cycle of improvement should always be upheld. Similar to the development of technology products, the focus on addressing maritime cyber threats will require a continuous loop of assessments and improvements as the profile of maritime cyber threats also evolves with the technological landscape on board ships and ashore. 


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Supporting cyber risks resilience

Inmarsat is committed to helping the maritime industry confront the ever-evolving cyber threats. Through our market-leading services including Fleet Secure UTM, Fleet Secure Endpoint and Fleet Mail, and by contributing expertise to raise awareness and training standards, we continue to facilitate an integrated, proactive approach to cyber risk management to help shipowners comply with the IMO 2021 cyber security requirements and go beyond compliance.

As one of the leading supplier of ship-to-shore connectivity in commercial shipping, we are also a stakeholder as far as the development of industry best practices is concerned, both as a service provider and as custodian of a global network that is secure across all touchpoints. In fact,our secure, encrypted network uses military-grade satellites, is fully approved by the highest standards of the IMO and is fully audited by the stringent standards of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO).

Based on our experience of offering a secure communications platform, from the onshore office to the maritime terminals onboard a ship, we have developed security services designed to uphold cyber resilience at sea with the certainty our customers demand.

Webinar on demand

Watch our on-demand webinar on “Leveraging technology to increase cyber resilience at sea” where we discussed methods and means with industry experts to identify, protect, detect and respond to cyber threats.

Cyber security case studies

Uniwise Offshore enhances cyber-security standards across its offshore support vessel (OSV) fleet by adopting Inmarsat technology. With reliable connectivity delivered by  Fleet Xpress, our Fleet Secure Unified Threat Management (UTM) provides Uniwise with end-to-end functionality to protect its network from cyber-attacks and intrusion via infected devices.

“In busy areas in the Gulf of Thailand usage on the network is high. Both business critical as well as extensive crew traffic must be protected and secured, hence we needed a satellite communications partner that has solutions specifically designed for maritime. We needed security, not only to minimise the risk of downtime during operations but also to safeguard our vessels from the growing threat of cyber-attacks. Fleet Xpress offers reliable connectivity and Fleet Secure UTM ensures robust network protection our operations require.”

Jon-Axel Hauglum, Co-Head of Business, Uniwise Offshore

Evergas, a petrochemical and natural liquid gas carrier with well over a century of operating experience, has learned to move with technology, stay dynamic, and take emerging threats seriously. With their fleet connected to the internet at various times and routes, the Evergas IT team is well aware of the threat that these increasingly interconnected shipping fleets create.

“Regulations provide standards to base things on, but it is important from our perspective to go above and beyond the regulations. We physically separate the business network, crew network, and operational technology networks from each other, and we also go beyond that with our unified threat management approach.”

- Poul Rævdal, IT Business Manager, Evergas

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