GTMaritime delivers free service to support continuous ship software cyber compliance

4 min read

Compliance Maintenance, a new service from GTMaritime,will ensure that GTMaritime’s ship software cyber compliance with IMO 2021 cyber security requirements, without intervention

As shipping lines grow ever more reliant on digital links to shore, GTMaritime is releasing Compliance Maintenance, a new service for customers that provides the option of automatically keeping GTMaritime software used onboard up-to-date to ensure that owners are constantly compliant with IMO cyber-security guidelines.  

The new service is the latest addition to a GTMaritime portfolio designed with the common goal of shielding onboard systems from multiplying cyber-threats, which can disrupt crew’s day-to-day work and even compromise vessel safety.

Running older versions of software is a key vector for cyber-criminals to penetrate onboard systems, but installing updates is often time-consuming and costly. The importance of a systematic approach to software updating is repeatedly emphasised in BIMCO’s Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships – the industry’s go-to guidance for hardening digital infrastructure ahead of cyber-security becoming mandatory within the ISM Code in January next year.

GTMaritime Operations Director, Jamie Jones, said: “Updating is laborious and unrewarding, and therefore easily put off. It is particularly onerous when ships have varying software inventories or have legacy, though mission-critical applications that may stop working following a major OS update. Compliance Maintenance has been introduced so that owners can be confident that their GTMaritime solutions are fully up-to-date at all times.”

GTMaritime ship software cyber compliance will be provided free-of-charge to existing customers, making it available to more than 6,500 ships, or more than 10% of the global fleet. It will automatically update all GTMaritime solutions installed on an owner’s fleet.

After initial configuration, Compliance Maintenance updates are distributed fleetwide with no crew intervention required. This is enabled through FastNet, a new core hardware-agnostic platform for data transfer which works with all satellite link airtime providers.

FastNet was engineered to set a new standard for the maritime industry by providing a secure, auditable and independent platform for ship/shore data transfers. As a multi-stream platform, it uses sophisticated bandwidth management techniques to optimise, secure and then deliver data packets according to business needs.

Jones explained: “With vessel operation becoming increasingly digitalised, we saw a pressing need for getting both raw data and applications on and off ships in a managed way that caters for expected exponential growth in data volumes; today’s piecemeal approach is no longer sustainable.”

FastNet already underpins GTDeploy, a software deployment application allowing remote patch management and software updates across all solutions fleet wide, and GTReplicate – an application for replicating/synchronising critical data files between ship and shore. Capable of seamlessly synchronising files of all types and sizes, GTReplicate is highly configurable and offers extensive reporting functions to meet auditing requirements.