Published in maritime email, all | 5 minutes reading time

How Dualog® Business Mail secures your fleet email

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Every year, the predicted demise of email as a communication tool appears in technology commentators' columns. However, numbers don't support the claims. On a worldwide basis, the number of email users rose to almost three billion by the end of 2020. That figure represents more than a third of the global population, or nearly 500 times the Norway or Singapore population.

Although new forms of collaboration surface regularly, email remains the top communication tool for businesses. In shipping, email is the primary platform for exchanging business-critical information between ship and shore. No wonder, then, that ill-intentioned hackers already have your email system on their radar. So should you.

Email is the number one attack vector used by hackers to get access to your company's confidential data, and email attacks such as phishing are on the rise. In recent years, the industry has seen a steep increase in the volume of spam, phishing and malware attacks, and the latest Emotet malware has already caused rampant damages across a wide range of sectors, costing billions of dollars.


You need a maritime-optimised email system with multilayered security

For the shipping industry, ironclad operational security is a must-have. That is why IMO and class societies require shipping companies to implement a multilayered cybersecurity approach, with tools to prevent spam and other malicious content from reaching your vessels.

The message is clear: To properly secure email traffic across your fleet in 2021, you need a multilayered approach to email threat protection.

Let's look at how an enterprise-grade maritime email solution like Dualog® Business Mail can protect your seafarers' Inboxes from malicious threats.

Secure, reliable email

Dualog® Business Mail is designed to safely and securely handle all your business mail requirements in a maritime operations environment. The email service works regardless of carrier or communication system onboard, and it is easily configurable to any number of email accounts.

Dualog Business Mail is 100% reliable and secure. If communication is down, you still have access to your email history. More importantly, the email system offers best-in-industry cybersecurity, so that you can send and receive email without having to worry about malware, malicious attachments, spam and similar threats and annoyances clogging up your (probably already full!) Inbox.

Each message sent to your ships goes through an extensive security check in the MailDefence email security gateway that includes scans by multiple antivirus engines, anti-spam scoring mechanisms, email fingerprint analysis, phishing checks and domain sanity checks. By deploying an effective array of tools and techniques, including machine learning, we dramatically reduce the occurrence of spam and other malicious content from reaching your vessels.  

Here’s how Dualog® Business Mail ensures always updated antivirus scanning in practice.

All emails are filtered and security checked before your crew receives them

Let's say someone onshore sends an email to one of your deck officers at sea. Perhaps a buddy of his, who always sends messages with funny memes and video clips. Does this email go straight from the guy onshore to your deck officer's Inbox?

No, because that’s a recipe for malware disaster.

Before any of your onboard crew members get them, email messages are subject to an ever-increasing (and increasingly diverse) number of security checks as they pass through various system components in the Dualog MailDefence email security gateway. This is how the process works:

Step 1: Messages arriving from the Internet are brought into the MailDefence environment, and Domain checks are performed, including SPF status, DKIM verification of both header and body and DMARC control to verify sender legitimacy.

Step 2: Messages accepted by Domain checks are then scanned by several virus scanners and matched against a wide array of anti-spam and anti-phishing filters. MailDefence also makes use of sophisticated spam scoring analysis and machine learning techniques. Based on settings, messages will be blocked, quarantined or tagged as spam.

Step 3: The next step is to control attachments to control for malicious content. MailDefence can even scan and stop macro-enabled and password-protected files. The system also performs size limitation checks to ensure attachments are within size limits.

Step 4: The final step is to verify that the sender is allowed to send messages to the intended recipient(s). Messages accepted by the Dualog MailDefence are then routed to the Dualog Connection Suite server onboard the ship for onward routing to the appropriate recipient(s) on ships.
Option: If present, email attachments are scanned by the endpoint security scanner, and link protection are done by Dualog® Protect.

In 2021 and onward, this multilayer filtering mechanism is the only way to stay ahead of sophisticated email-borne threats and make sure your crews do not fall victim to infected email messages that potentially end up compromising the entire ship network.

Read more: Why email is still business critical in the shipping industry



Dualog offers a robust email system with multilayered security, specifically designed for the particular challenges of the maritime industry.

By using Dualog® Business Mail, all of your email will be scanned through the most secure filters to ensure they do not pose any threat to your digital infrastructure and maritime operations.

Building a business case for choosing Dualog


How Dualog® Business Mail secures your fleet email
Written by Kristian Olsen, Product Manager

Kristian Olsen is a member of the Product Management Group at Dualog. A true Dualog old-timer, Kristian has served in several roles at the company, ever since it was founded in 1994. He holds a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Kristian likes to “get in the zone” both onshore and offshore, as he is an avid cross country skier as well as a windsurfer with several national championships under his belt.

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