Cybersecurity on board The increasing digitalization of ships and their networking offers significant added value for the marine industry, but this also increases the risk of cyberattacks. With Phoenix Contact, it is possible to protect marine operations against unauthorized access.

Skull on key of a keyboard

Growing challenges

Networking systems on board a ship facilitates efficient marine operation due to the use of modern communication technologies, but this also poses an increasing risk of cyberattack. What should be done to prevent possible risks from occurring in the first place?

Digitalization on a ship

Exploiting the possibilities of digitalization in a safe and secure way

Intelligent monitoring solutions or location-independent remote maintenance concepts offer flexibility and time savings for all stakeholders such as ports or shipping companies. However, the growing number of communication channels with the marine environment also increase the risk of unauthorized access by third parties. Whether sketchy security concepts, the use of outdated software, or a lack of know-how – there may be many vulnerabilities that can have far-reaching consequences. These include, for example, system manipulation with ransomware and data misuse, or total shutdown and losing control of your vessel.

With the use of innovative products, individual solutions, and scalable services, safe and trouble-free marine operation can be facilitated in compliance with legal requirements, such as those set by the International Association of Classification Societies. We can work together to find the right solution for your application.

Comprehensive protection of critical infrastructure such as the maritime sector is fundamentally important for people and the environment. For hazard-free marine operations, all relevant stakeholders must be considered holistically and protected against cyberattacks.

Dr. Lutz Jänicke - Phoenix Contact, Corporate Product & Solution Security Officer
Dr. Lutz Jänicke
Two controllers: AXC F SPLC 1000 and AXC F 2152

Use of secure products in the maritime sector

The protection of the marine system is supported, among other things, by the use of secure-by-design products and already begins with a secure development process. PLCnext Control was thus the first industrial controller to be developed in accordance with IEC 62443-4-1. In addition to security-related aspects, functional safety plays a significant role. The SPLC 1000 left-alignable safety-oriented controller satisfies both of these requirements in full. In practice, device and update management ensures that the products are always protected with newly released updates to eliminate potential security vulnerabilities.

The controllers offer corresponding functions for switching off unused communication interfaces and for other safeguards. In addition, mGuard security routers help protect systems with an intelligent firewall and establish encrypted communication channels with VPN. Finally, using this solution provides added value both for system integrations and for operators by minimizing the potential points of attack on marine systems and thus ensuring more secure marine operations.

Person holding tablet with mGuard Secure Cloud dashboard

Intelligent and secure remote maintenance

The need for remote access is increasing worldwide in order to be able to carry out predictive maintenance and thus identify and address possible vulnerabilities at an early stage. As a result, potential downtime can be minimized, and the efficiency of marine operations is increased.

To give service providers authorized access to the units that need to be serviced, the mGuard Secure Cloud enables secure connection from any location. Through a highly secure VPN tunnel, a connection is established between personnel and systems – without any data being tampered with or lost. Another advantage of the cloud-based remote maintenance solution is that no customer data is stored in the cloud.

Security concept for cybersecurity cycle

360° security on board

With our 360° security concept, we provide all the necessary blocks for the comprehensive security of your marine operations. You can take advantage of whichever consulting services you require – ranging from assessing the current situation and creating a custom security concept in accordance with IEC 62443-2-4 all the way to implementing secure maintenance. In addition, you can choose from various training courses in which our certified security specialists provide valuable know-how regarding secure handling. Whether for shipowners, shipyards and dockyards, or system integrators, all stakeholders have access to an appropriate range of services in addition to secure products and solutions.

Develop protection concepts quickly and cost-effectively

Blueprint Marine cybersecurity

To reduce effort in the development process, a security concept with corresponding security measures was developed for the maritime industry on the basis of a generic application in accordance with IEC 62443 and the defense-in-depth strategy described in this standard. Based on many years of expertise, a universal blueprint has been created that considers all systems on board and on shore and, through coordinated measures, enables secure communication between relevant systems, higher-level marine automation, and maintenance personnel.