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China Navigation signs fleet-wide contract for Sperry’s Connected ECDIS

Connected ECDIS supports improved cyber risk management by removing the need to use USB memory devices when transferring electronic chart data Connected ECDIS supports improved cyber risk management by removing the need to use USB memory devices when transferring electronic chart data

The China Navigation Company (CNCo), a member of the Swire Group, has chosen Sperry Marine’s SperrySphere Connected ECDIS for 36 of its operated vessels.

Connected ECDIS is the latest addition to Sperry Marine’s portfolio of smart bridge solutions, connected via the unique SperrySphere platform.

China Navigation has agreed to upgrade 24 of its bulk carriers and 12 of its containerships with Connected ECDIS, simplifying and securing the transfer of chart data from back of bridge to the regulated navigation systems.

Connected ECDIS supports improved cyber risk management by removing the need to use USB memory devices when transferring electronic chart data. It enables vessels to update navigation charts digitally, with data passing through Sperry Marine’s Secure Maritime Gateway (SMG).

This provides a high degree of operational flexibility and a convenient means of performing chart updates with cyber security that exceeds IEC standards, with no risk of infection from the USB stick.

A key component of the cybersecurity defences available to ship operators, the SMG uses multiple firewalls and a ‘demilitarised zone’ as a staging post between front and back of bridge to ensure there is no direct connection between the navigation systems and the ship’s main IT network. The system allows secure transfer of chart updates from any compliant data provider.

“We wanted to reduce the reliance on manual ECDIS updates and mitigate cyber risk by removing USBs from the chart update process,” said Gerry Bonner, general manager fleet services, The China Navigation Company. “With cybersecurity incidents presenting a major concern for shipping, Sperry Marine’s Connected ECDIS gives us the opportunity to drive digitalisation in our fleet, improve operational efficiency and increase cyber safety.”

“ECDIS is one of the most vulnerable shipboard systems to cyber-attack since it receives regular updates and is also critical to safe and compliant navigation,” said James Collett, managing director of Sperry Marine. “Employing the Secure Maritime Gateway means China Navigation will enjoy faster, simpler and more reliable chart updates with a high level of cybersecurity.”

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