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SnakeWays upgrades cloud-based connectivity services

The new modules are hosted in the cloud and on the shipboard SnakeBox The new modules are hosted in the cloud and on the shipboard SnakeBox

SnakeWays has announced a major upgrade to its portfolio of cloud-based ship-to-shore connectivity services, employing machine learning algorithms to dramatically simplify firewall management.

The new release incorporates two new services:

  • Snakewall – a shipboard firewall service deploying AI techniques to control connectivity
  • Snakedoor – a cloud-based tool simplifying remote access to the shipboard network

Both new modules are hosted in the cloud and on the shipboard SnakeBox. Each can stand alone or be combined with existing modules such as SnakeMail and SnakeSwitch.

SnakeWall dovetails with the existing SnakeSwitch to allow each and every WAN/LAN combination on board the vessel to have its own individual firewall rules. For example, the required rules for crew communications over LTE/4G can be very different from M2M connectivity over a backup L-band network.

The volume of electronic data being transferred shore to ship is growing rapidly, much of it key content such as e-navigation and routing data. At the same time a growing proportion of that key data is being delivered via cached servers on a Content Distribution Network (CDN). These two trends combined are making it increasingly difficult for companies to manage the shipboard firewalls using the standard IP addresses, ports and other network settings.

The point at which that content is being delivered must be constantly monitored and changes to the firewall rules added as the ship moves around the globe.

One also has to be very careful when using traditional firewall techniques that opening the firewall for one specific service does not mean opening the ship to third party content providers that share the same CDN.

SnakeWall is designed to eliminate the manpower needed to maintain those firewalls using traditional techniques whilst simplifying cyber integrity and usability on board.

Hosted on the SnakeBox, independent of the existing shipboard IT networks, SnakeWall deploys machine learning techniques to identify, then actively monitor and control, access to any internet service. All that is needed from the IT support staff (or the ship’s crew) is to identify the domain name of that service and indicate whether they want it enabled or want it blocked. From that point on SnakeWall takes care of the rest, dynamically adjusting the firewall rules as and when required.

“This release is a significant stride forward in the development of the SnakeWays portfolio,” said Gregor Ross, CCO of SnakeWays. “These two ground-breaking services have been developed not just on the back of the SnakeWays team’s experience but on current feedback from our end customers and our global distribution partners in particular. They significantly broaden the addressable market for the SnakeWays services and we look forward to them contributing strongly to SnakeWays growth as we enter our second year of operation”

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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