Written by Rune Larsen, Service Marketing Manager | 19 February 2021
Stay up to date!
* By subscribing to the latest news from our blog, you consent to us storing your email address, and sending you monthly emails. You can, at any time, retract this consent.
In 2021, you can no longer rely on basic endpoint security tools, such as firewalls, to protect your ships from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. You need DNS protection.
As you’re reading this, there’s probably a malware email on its way to an inbox on one of your vessels.
Do you have a shipboard protection mechanism installed that blocks threats designed to circumvent firewalls or stand-alone antivirus solutions?
If not, you’re leaving your fleet vulnerable to cyber attacks that get sneakier – and more devastating – by the day.
The Emotet malware – and what stops it
Suppose the captain on one of your ships receives an email from a maritime organisation he has communicated with not too long ago. The subject line includes ‘RE:’ and ‘Invoice #’ – with a valid-looking invoice number and the name of your shipping company.
Unsuspectingly, his mind wandering, the captain clicks the Microsoft Word attachment.
Without knowing it, he has just activated the dreaded Emotet malware.
This hypothetical scenario has been the stark reality for quite a few shipping companies lately.
How do you secure your ships against malware like Emotet?
You need to implement a multilayered protection mechanism that operates at the DNS level – blocking malware, trojan and phishing attempts before they can do any harm at all to your onboard systems and networks.
In simple terms, DNS protection means providing an additional layer of protection between a crew member and the Internet, by blacklisting dangerous sites and filtering out unwanted content.
As more and more malware uses DNS as its first step to executing an attack, stopping the first step may prevent the rest of the attack from happening entirely.
This is exactly what Dualog® Protect does.
How Dualog® Protect works
Dualog® Protect has a DNS server installed on board your ships, which sends all DNS queries to the Dualog Cloud. In the cloud, every DNS request is analysed to validate whether the user is allowed to access that site or not. A query will be blocked if the site is of a malicious nature, like a Command-and-Control, malware, or similar queries.
Sites can also be blocked based on content types. For example, you can decide to block all video streaming sites, social media platforms, or a dozen other categories to fit your company policy.
All of this configuration is done in the Dualog Portal. In a matter of seconds, you can reconfigure tens or even hundreds of ships to have a new policy in their onboard networks. You also store information on DNS queries, where you can have a full overview of the situation across all your ships. This is what enables you to react to abnormalities the second they occur.
Here’s a short video that illustrates how Dualog® Protect works:
Yesterday’s IT protection tools are child’s play for modern-day cybercriminals. With Dualog® Protect in place to provide that crucial extra layer of security fortification to your IT operations, you drastically reduce the risk of malware doing harm to your ships.
Rune Larsen is Service Marketing Manager in Dualog, with responsibilities for user experience design, visual design and marketing of existing and new services. Educated in business strategy and marketing from the Arctic University of Norway, he has more than 25 years of experience from the creative industry, where he worked as a writer, consultant, designer and creative director in various advertising agencies and design studios. He's been orchestrating brand identity projects, design work and brand building campaigns for a wide range of organisations. He brings a passion for great design to the team, never compromising on the importance of the 'experience' part of UX. When not at the office, he enjoys hiking with his wife or is busy being a football coach for his youngest daughter. His fitness regime involves either running or cross-country skiing. Rune is an avid reader of business-related books, and he loves the occasional bottle of Barolo.