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>Kate Callaghan

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So far Kate Callaghan has created 18 blog entries.

HTS (High Throughput Satellite) Systems – Closed vs Open Architecture

All HTS systems share similar characteristics, however, not all HTS systems are the same. When choosing an HTS system, it is important to understand the architecture behind the technology. Choosing the right architecture defines the user experience and directly impacts the ability to meet service expectations and support customers in the most demanding environments.

Closed Architecture
Unlike traditional satellites whose design has always been open, many HTS systems are vertically integrated and follow a closed architecture approach that prevents service providers to tailor their network to their customer’s needs. Closed architecture locks service providers into a standardised, undifferentiated third-party solution:

• No flexibility. Closed HTS systems have hardwired gateways in fixed locations that require providers to use the satellite operator gateway and abandon their current investments, infrastructure or favourite teleport.

• No technology choices. Closed HTS systems are typically designed and optimised for one specific application, restricting the ability to adapt to changing customer demands and expansion opportunities.

• No differentiation. Closed HTS systems are typically designed and optimised for one specific application, restricting the ability to adapt to changing customer demands and expansion opportunities.

• No operational freedom. The increased dependency on the satellite operator transforms network providers into mere distributors of a standard, third-party solution that cannot keep pace with innovation. You can only improve technology if/when an operator gets it.

Closed systems require service providers to make a long-term investment in a single technology and gamble that a single company can out-innovate the rest of the industry.

Open Architecture
Service providers who offer technology-agnostic solutions based on an open architecture are part of an evolving ecosystem of satellite communications and antenna providers. In an open-architecture environment, each component of the system (e.g. satellite, modem and antenna) can be upgraded independently.

Open platforms allow service providers to build services that are optimised in terms of performance, coverage, cost and quality of service for the particular needs of their customers. An open HTS platform gives service providers unprecedented choice, control and consistent levels of service at a much lower total cost of ownership.

In an open-architecture environment, service providers can build and scale their services as part of a well-executed digital strategy:

• No lock in. Remain independent from technology and satellite vendors.

• Backward compatibility. Choose modem technology that best suits applications and is best adapted to their business.

• Leverage current customer install base. Take advantage of C- and Ku-band HTS to continue to grow their market with premier spectrum.

• Use preferred teleports. Locate desired hubs and uplink from any beam in any band.

• Efficiently deliver more throughput to the user. Increase throughput with higher performance at the same capital expenditures (CAPEX) investments.

• Continue to innovate. Keep pace with technology improvements and capitalise on the ability to configure their own service packages.

The result is a modular system that can integrate new technologies as they become available, without requiring a complete overhaul. Modularity is critical in environments where:

• Installation costs are high
• Technological evolution is rapid and constant
• The provider needs to be agile and incorporate new innovations

Not sure how to choose an HTS provider? Check out these key considerations.

(Article supplied by our contributor Intelsat)

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Cyber security questions you should ask your satellite service provider

The threat of cyber-attacks is only increasing and getting more sophisticated each year. As we deal with the growth of Big Data, IoT and M2M applications, there will be vastly greater amounts of data moving across all networks – and as a result, there will be more access points. Every part of the hybrid networks serving remote offices, ships and IoT devices must be secured.

Faced with the complex new threats inherent with more data and more access points, seasoned cyber security professionals continue to succeed by implementing the right security posture. This is defined not only by the threats it stops but also by the ability to react to and address the threats when they are discovered.

1. How are you securing your networks (not just your satellites)?

Today, the typical satellite network architecture is global and spans terrestrial and satellite links as well as cellular, internet and/or microwave connections. The challenge is to ensure that the entire ecosystem, not just your company, has the right security posture to harden your company against the gamut of attacks pervasive in today’s environment.

2. What is your Information Assurance plan? What are the key elements?

A satellite operators security programs needs to take a systematic defence-in-depth approach to detect, prevent and mitigate attacks, thereby enhancing resilience and mission assurance in their satellite, ground, network infrastructure and ecosystem.

• Integrated Security Program –The satellite operator and its ecosystem partners should have integrated plans in place to adhere to the most stringent information assurance compliance criteria. At the same time, your satellite operator should have standalone information security functions that operate separately from the ecosystem partners and also apart from its own network and satellite operations. This ensures that their security and monitoring of the framework remains centrally managed and controlled by the satellite operator.

• Layered Security Framework – A comprehensive and layered framework needs to be built to ensure the confidentiality, availability and integrity of the satellite operator’s services. Security should be at the core of the design and configuration of a satellite operator’s infrastructure, network and service delivery architectures.

• Assessment and Remediation Program – A comprehensive information assurance assessment and remediation program should include recurring penetration assessments, organisation-wide control assessments and third-party audits against the service operator’s satellite and terrestrial service environments. This includes satellite commanding, teleport, terrestrial and service management infrastructure and relevant service procedures.

Policies and procedures must be in place to ensure that every level of the organisation is aware of the security measures. Information assurance cannot be an afterthought. The company’s culture and operational fabric should include education and awareness of cyber threats, what to avoid and how to respond to a cyber-attack.

• Standard Compliance – It is critical that satellite service providers and their ecosystem partners comply with the latest security standards such as the National Information Assurance Policy established for Space Systems used to Support National Security Missions (CNSSP-12) and more.

3. What measures will you incorporate to ensure that the satellite portion of my network will remain available during a breach or an attack?

The question is not whether there will be any attacks, but how well your satellite operator can manage a breach and still maintain your network availability and integrity. High availability and resiliency must be incorporated into the design, implementation and operations of a satellite provider’s services. A layered security framework and strong policies and procedures are necessary to ensure appropriate and rapid action to remediate events and maintain control in the event of interference or a cyber-attack.

To that end, fully redundant, hot standby satellite operation centres should be implemented, so each centre can command the entire fleet at any time, transmit commands utilising multiple teleports and remotely operate the other centre’s equipment. In addition, the provider should deploy primary and back up telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) antennas, redundant terrestrial connectivity and the ability to leverage their global locations in the event of an incident. A combination of facility, RF and command encryption practices provides a layered structure that mitigates the impact of interference with secure commanding and uninterrupted satellite control.

4. What are you doing to keep ahead of the fast changing threat environment?

Protecting a satellite network from cyber-attacks is a complex and ongoing process. The best protection employs layers of countermeasures to combat and mitigate the most advanced threats. To stay abreast of increasingly sophisticated and powerful attacks, a satellite operator’s Information Assurance program should be:

• Preventative – With advanced assessment, indicator, analysis and prevention countermeasures and controls to block threats and exploit attempts

• Detective – Identifying threats with intelligence sources, anomaly, signature and behaviour-based techniques, among other detection measures

• Access and Authentication – Measures to enforce authorised and secure access to information resources

• Management –Event correlation and management as well as configuration of controls and countermeasures all integrated

Want to know more? Here are the ‘Seven phases of a cyber-attack‘.

(Article supplied by our contributor Intelsat)

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IMO 2020: Set to Shake-Up the Shipping Industry

Each year, billions of tonnes of goods traverse oceans on ships the size of warehouses. With the spread of globalisation, the volume of goods traded by sea has grown by 300 percent since the 1970s, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Today, ships carry more than 80 percent of all goods.

While the global maritime industry is an invisible force for most of us, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon once called it the “backbone of global trade and the global economy”. And it is only getting bigger: UNCTAD predicted in 2017 that seaborne trade volumes would increase by around 3.2 percent each year until 2022.

The shipping industry is vital to modern life, but it is also responsible for emitting around a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. As part of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) broader plan to clean up the industry in the coming decades, ships will be required to reduce their sulphur emissions by more than 80 percent from 2020. Changing the rules for a sector that guzzled half of the world’s total demand for fuel oil in 2017 will have a significant knock-on effect for the entire oil value chain, impacting everyone from truckers and airlines to ordinary consumers…

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Shipping innovation is moving faster than regulation

Innovation in the field of autonomous shipping is moving at a far greater pace than the international rules that will regulate the industry can be established, according to Rolls-Royce.

Kevin Daffey, director ship intelligence, engineering and technology at Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, told the Maritime Autonomous Ships Regulatory Working Group conference that Scandinavian countries are moving ahead with the development of autonomous ships that will prove the technology in local waters, and will operate under local regulations…

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Five technologies to transform maritime in 2019

Shipping is just beginning to reap some of the benefits in operational efficiency improvements, emissions and expenditure reductions, safer navigation and regulatory compliance that digitalisation has to offer.

Digital momentum is building within the industry along with a push to achieve greater levels of autonomy, full adoption of artificial intelligence, crewless ships, blockchain-controlled logistics and integrated ship-port operations.

With these dynamic forces set to shape the business of shipping for decades to come, Maritime Digitalisation & Communications has used our own analytics to predict the five biggest trends for the year ahead…

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Maritime VSAT market set for huge three-year growth

Maritime VSAT revenues are set to grow by more than 13.7% to 2021 according to a new report. Technavio’s analysts forecast the global market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.74% during that period.

They highlighted that VSAT market growth was driven by multiple industry trends including an increasing need for VSAT on fishing vessels and ships involved in maritime surveillance.

Technavio also identified improving maritime domain awareness, anti-piracy and commodity tracking as key drivers for installing more maritime VSAT services. Crew welfare requirements and ship monitoring are also drivers…

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What is Maritime and VSAT? Here’s all you need to know.

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Telemedicine should be mandatory on ships

Investing in telemedicine reduces the cost of medical emergencies and improves crew welfare, says Martyn Wingrove.

Telemedicine is not mandatory as part of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) for seafarers’ rights. But it should be.

If there is an issue with the ship, crew members have to diagnose and then either repair it or wait for technical assistance. In an onboard medical emergency, it is the same, but their lives are at stake…

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Take a look at some of the pros and cons to telemedicine.

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Technology pushes cruise ship connectivity to record levels

Satellite and VSAT antenna technology is helping cruise ship operators to ramp up throughput to meet passenger and crew demands for onboard internet connectivity

Developments in high throughput satellites and VSAT hardware are increasing broadband communications capacity for passengers on cruise ships. Guests and crew can use onboard wifi to connect their mobile devices to the internet for social media and other online services over a new generation of satellites…

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Addressing connectivity at sea

VSAT technology enables high-capacity broadband for on-board connectivity and operations, says IEC Telecom Middle East managing director Nabil Ben Soussia.

On the Day of the Seafarer 2018 (June 25), Inmarsat published the results of a new crew connectivity report. The study, titled ‘Navigating Everyday Connectivities at Sea’ revealed the fundamental importance of reliable connectivity, and the impact it has on mental wellbeing, operational efficiency and safety, as well as its critical role in attracting new talent to the industry…

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The seven phases of a cyber attack

Craig Reeds from class society DNV GL looks at the seven phases of a cyber attack and provides Splash readers with this useful guide on what happens when your organisation is targeted by hackers.

A recent set of attacks against critical infrastructure entities, such as oil and gas pipeline operators, utilities and even some city and state governments reveal new motives and methods. The attackers were not out to steel data but were looking to disrupt services. The attackers used a new attack vector that has not been seen before. Instead of attacking their primary targets directly, they attacked less secure vendors that those targets use. We will be looking at how they did this and then how it can be prevented…

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