Totem Plus offers cyber defence systems

Dec 01 2017

Totem Plus is to offer its clients Naval Dome’s cyber defence solution as a supplement to its PC-based navigation and automation systems.

This follows the September signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the cyber security specialist.


The two Israeli companies began co-operating last year when the Naval Dome solution was used to protect the Totem Plus ECDIS, IMAC (integrated monitoring, alarm & control), VDR and BAM (bridge alert management) installations on board a containership.


Capt Azriel Rahav, Totem Plus CEO, said: “We are proud to be a pioneer of cutting edge maritime systems. Being able to offer the first maritime multi-layer cyber defence solution with our navigation and automation systems provides unrivalled protection to our customers. I don’t think any other ECDIS provider can offer this level of security without impacting performance.”


“We opted to partner with Naval Dome because its cyber security solution is proven to offer affordable multi-layer protection designed specifically for maritime application. As a stand-alone device, it doesn’t have to be integrated, so it can be used with any connected or unconnected system on board ship. It is intelligence grade cyber protection that requires minimal human interaction,” he said.


Commenting on the vulnerability of navigation systems to cyber attack, Itai Sela, Naval Dome CEO, said: “Although there is a concerted effort to ensure ships systems and data are properly protected, ECDIS is a weak link. If not protected, they can provide hackers with an easily penetrable ‘back door’ to ship systems and data, due to the frequency with which charts are information is downloaded.


“I am delighted that Totem Plus has agreed to offer its product portfolio with Naval Dome cyber protection. I cannot emphasise enough the commercial, environmental and safety impacts that an unprotected navigational system will have on operations should a cyber attack be successful. The solution we have developed will safeguard against this and protect Totem Plus customers from unauthorised access to critical systems,” he added.


Last year saw an unprecedented number of cyber attacks and indications from security analysts suggest 2018 will be equally threatening, as more and more companies store data in the ‘cloud’ and increase the number of internet-connected devices.


“The threat is very real and hackers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in the methods they use to access data and manipulate system information,” said Sela.


However, the results of a survey carried out last month by NSSLGlobal, an independent service provider of satellite communications and IT support, demonstrates a worrying lack of seafarer cyber security training.


“While a good percentage of crews are aware that they have an important role to play in thwarting any cyber security breaches, the report highlighted that 84% of the [571] crew members surveyed claimed to have received limited or no cyber security training. This is a real concern. But our system takes away the human element,” Sela said.


This co-operation agreement with Totem Plus follows a Memorandum of Understanding Naval Dome signed earlier this month with Lloyd’s Register to help establish standards and guidelines for maritime cyber defence.


In response to news of Clarksons cyber security breach confirmed this week, Sela said; “The announcement yesterday that ship broker Clarksons confirmed its computer systems were breached in a major cyber security attack is a further indication how the global maritime industry is very much in the cross-hairs of the cyber criminal.


“The rise in the number of on board and shore-based systems that are connected to the Internet and the use of wireless and cloud-based technologies is changing the security landscape. The shipping industry must make sure that these developments do not expose all sectors of the shipping industry, including the cruise, leisure and merchant segments, to the sophisticated and diverse methods used by hackers, political and environmental activists, business competitors and ransom pirates. 


While there is no argument that increased connectivity will deliver significant commercial and operational advantages, today, more than ever, cyber security has to be the number one priority for the shipping industry. To this end, we are working with key stakeholders to establish global cyber maritime defence standards and guidelines based around our intelligence agency grade, multi-layered cyber protection technology," he concluded.


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