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BW adds 45 more vessels to KVH deal

BW Group has extended its contract with KVH to add its connectivity services to 45 additional vessels in the fleet, joining the company’s existing LPG and LNG vessels that have used KVH’s VSAT systems and services since 2013.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}“We chose KVH because of their commitment to excellence, the ease of working with a sole provider, and the cost advantages that we can achieve with fast, reliable connectivity and global coverage,” said Tor-Egil Gjulem, BW Group’s global head of procurement.

“Connectivity is the key to digitalisation of many maritime operational functions.”

The BW fleet includes product tankers, LPG and LNG carriers, FSRUs, dry bulk carriers, chemical tankers, offshore vessels, and crude carriers.

For the 45 additional vessels, BW has chosen the dual mode C/Ku-band TracPhone V11-IP satellite antenna system and the Ku-band TracPhone V7-HTS; the particular system for each vessel is dependent on each type of vessel. The vessels will also receive news and entertainment content via KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service.

“With our vessels transiting the oceans, it is extremely important to have a connectivity provider like KVH, which has the technical and service capability to address issues immediately, and ensure that our fleet is always benefitting from uninterrupted connectivity,” said Juzer Vasi, head of business solutions – fleet, for BW.

The deal was announced as KVH unveiled a new set of ‘6-Level Cybersecurity’ initiatives designed to provide proactive cyber security protection for its maritime VSAT satellite network.

Starting from June 2018, all vessels subscribing to KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband connectivity service will be able to receive the KVH Videotel ‘Cybersecurity at Sea’ training programme at no cost. The programme, created in conjunction with maritime experts and based on regulations from the International Maritime Organization and guidelines from the shipping trade group BIMCO, covers such topics as assessing and reducing the risks of a cyber incident and responding to a cyber incident.

Other levels of KVH’s cybersecurity strategy involve: satellite network security; terrestrial network security; hardware and network configuration; protected internet egress; and response to threats and incidents.

For satellite network security, KVH says that it implements a range of infrastructure safeguards and different types of authentication, encryption, or proprietary air interfaces. For the terrestrial network, KVH’s system is designed to provide traffic separation and to route global satellite traffic over private circuits to MegaPOPs, where internet egress occurs.

“To enhance the security of transmissions between ship and shore, we’ve designed our system so that traffic does not touch the internet before going through edge security devices at MegaPOPs,” notes Rick Driscoll, KVH’s vice president of satellite products & services.

The cyber strategy also targets the security of hardware and network configuration. For example, onboard local area network (LAN) segmentation can be configured for operations, crew networks, and third-party charter networks via firewall. In addition, the myKVH portal has been designed to provide the ability to enforce a crew login requirement on the vessel prior to accessing networked vessel systems or the internet.

KVH’s cybersecurity strategy additionally focuses on protected internet egress, including: application-level Universal Threat Management (UTM) firewalls in each KVH MegaPOP; application-level traffic shapers; multiple forms of threat blocking; and optional global static IP addresses.

Assisting a vessel or fleet in response to a cybersecurity incident is another part of the strategy, through the availability of a cybersecurity incident response team if a fleet suspects a cybersecurity attack, with the goal of managing and minimising the risk as quickly as possible.

In related news, KVH subsidiary Videotel has announced an update to its Videotel Performance Manager (VPM) to support integrated online training and make eLearning material accessible on any web-enabled device, with content automatically repurposed for mobile, tablet, and web browsing.

Online training materials are updated automatically as a new title or edition is launched so that the latest training content is always available.

“This is an important update to VPM, allowing crew the freedom to access online training content from a web-enabled device, wherever and whenever they want,” said Mark Woodhead, KVH’s senior vice president of EMEA.

“The Cloud-based platform also enables ship operators to keep track of an individual crewmember’s latest training records in easy-to-view dashboards that monitor skill levels and training schedules, so keeping track of individual seafarer skill sets is really simple.”

The online training functionality is available as part of the VPM Masters and Professional packages; an upgrade is available for those on the VPM Essential package, the company says.{/mprestriction}

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